How to Prevent Styes

Reviewed by Alan Kozarsky, MD on March 31, 2019

If you get a lot of styes, you may need to take better care of your eyelids. You want to get rid of the germs and dead skin cells that bacteria like to feed on. Put a few drops of mild baby shampoo into a teacup of warm water and stir. Use a cotton swab or washcloth to gently brush the soapy solution along the base of your eyelashes. Keep your eyes closed.

Don't have time to make up the mixture? Rub your closed lids with a washcloth dipped in baby shampoo while you’re in the shower. You don’t need more than 30 seconds per eye.

The technique doesn’t matter; it’s the motion that keeps your lids clear of debris. Also, don’t put expired makeup, used towels, or dirty hands on your eyelids.

A tender spot near your eyelashes can be an early warning sign of a stye. Apply a warm compress at the first sign. It will help you get better faster and prevent further blockage.

If your styes come back again and again, it may be a sign of a chronic condition called blepharitis or acne rosacea. Your doctor will be able to confirm what’s wrong and start treatment.

WebMD Medical Reference



Bradford, C. Basic Ophthalmology, American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2004. 

The Mayo Clinic.

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