Causes of a stye
A stye is an infection of the eyelash follicle, usually caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus.
Symptoms of a stye
A stye looks like a small, red lump at the base of your child’s eyelash, usually on the lower lid.
It can cause swelling of the surrounding eyelid and be quite painful. The stye might also irritate the eye and make it water.
Styes don’t generally cause any permanent damage to the eye or eyelid.
When to see a doctor about a stye
Most styes get better within a few days, although they can be quite painful.
Take your child to the GP if the stye doesn’t go away within a few days of starting the stye treatment below.
To help the stye come to a head and get the pus out of it, you can try warm compresses.
To make a warm compress, get a clean handtowel soaked in warm water and apply to the eyelid for two minutes at a time. Try to repeat the warm compresses at least three times a day. Gentle massage during the warm compress can help drain the stye – but don’t try to squeeze the stye.
If you see a GP, she might decide to remove the lash with the infection. This might help the pus come out and speed up the healing process.
Antibiotic ointments are rarely used to treat a stye, unless it’s a problem that keeps coming back. Oral antibiotics might help sometimes.
Make sure that your child (and everyone else in the family) washes his hands frequently to avoid spreading the infection. Use a separate towel for your child to dry his hands.