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|When to Call Your Doctor|
|Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If|
|Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If|
|Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If|
|Parent Care at Home If|
|HOME CARE ADVICE FOR A STY|
- A sty is a minor infection of an eyelash.
- A sty usually comes to a head and forms a pimple in 3 to 5 days.
- In a few more days, it usually drains and heals.
- Most styes can be treated at home.
- Local Heat:
- Apply a warm, wet washcloth to the eye for 10 minutes 4 times a day to help the sty come to a head.
- Continue the warm wet compresses several times a day even after the sty begins to drain. (Reason: remove the discharge)
- Caution: Do not rub the eye (Reason: can cause more styes)
- Open the Pimple:
- Age limit: Your child is over 5 years old and cooperative
- When the center of the sty becomes yellow, you can open it by pulling out the eyelash that goes through the pimple. Use a tweezers. This will initiate drainage and healing.
- Another option is to wait for spontaneous drainage (usually another 1-2 days).
- Caution: Do not squeeze the red lump. (Reason: can cause an eyelid infection)
- Antibiotic Eye Medicine:
- Most single styes respond to the treatment with local heat and don't need an antibiotic.
- Indications for antibiotic: multiple styes, recurrent styes or children with an eye rubbing habit.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Eyelid becomes red or swollen
- The sty comes to a head, but has not drained by 3 days
- More styes occur
- Sty is not resolved by 10 days
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 9/15/2011
Last Revised: 8/1/2011
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker
Copyright 1994-2012 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D