Home Treatment for Styes


A sty is an abscess that appears on your eyelid, near the growth line of your eyelashes. A staph infection causes the sty to appear and typically can spread to cause multiple abscesses. Signs and symptoms of an abscess include swelling, redness and pain in the eye area. If the sty does not clear up with home treatment, speak to your healthcare provider. You may need a prescription for antibiotic drops or ointment.


Before you treat the sty at home, wash your hands with antibacterial soap and warm water. This prevents the spread of infection. Fill a basin with warm water. Dip a clean washcloth into the water to saturate it. Wring out the washcloth to remove excess water. Lie back and apply the washcloth directly to the eye.


You may need to dip the washcloth back into the basin once you feel the temperature cool down. Throughout application, you may need to repeatedly rewet the compress to keep a steady application of heat on the site.

Time Frame

Leave the warm washcloth on the eye for 15-minute intervals when treating a sty at home. Repeat application at least four times daily. Continue applying the warm washcloths for a minimum of three to four days.


Home treatment with a warm washcloth can help the sty drain naturally on its own without leading to potential complications. If a sty is not drained, it can lead to a more serious condition known as cellulitis. Do not attempt to drain the sty on your own at home. According to the McKinley Health Center, this increases your chances of spreading the infection. Also, avoid eye makeup when you are treating a sty. This can lead to recurrences of the eye infection.


As an alternative to a warm washcloth, you can use teabags to get rid of a sty. Repeat the same process, but instead of a washcloth, apply a teabag soaked in warm water to the eye. The tannic acid in the tea helps kill bacteria that causes the sty.

About this Author

Heather Wood is a freelance writer who provides content to both traditional and new media publishers. She has worked professionally for five years and has appeared in numerous publications, including Gadgetell, Outlook by the Bay and Step in Style. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from The College of New Jersey. Heather enjoys an active lifestyle and spends her free time running and skiing.