Top 10 Natural Treatments for Eye Styes

| Modified on Nov 03, 2023
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Eye Sty Natural Remedies

A stye is a painful swelling and redness on the eyelid caused by an infection in the eyelash hair follicle or oil gland of the eye. Staphylococcus bacteria are commonly responsible for styes, although other bacteria can also cause eye infections. Styes usually heal on their own within ten days, but natural remedies can help speed up the healing process, often providing relief in 24 hours or less, particularly when treatment begins at the first sign of symptoms.

Home Treatments for a Sty

Explore the following 10 home treatments for styes that utilize natural remedies to provide relief and expedite the healing process.

1. Chamomile Tea

Known for its infection-fighting, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties, chamomile tea bags can be moistened and applied to the affected area for 15 minutes, several times a day. If you are allergic to ragweed, avoid chamomile.

2. Green Tea

Green tea bags can reduce inflammation due to the tannins they contain. Apply a moistened tea bag to the stye for 15 minutes, several times daily.

3. Black Tea

Similar to green tea, black tea bags can help alleviate pain, inflammation, and infection. Apply for 15 minutes several times a day.

4. Gold Wedding Band

A clean and dry gold wedding band can be gently rubbed on the stye for a few minutes a couple of times each day. This remedy may also work with a sterling silver wedding band but not with silicone bands.

5. Coconut Oil

Cold-pressed coconut oil has anti-infective properties. Apply it to the stye using a clean finger at least twice a day. Cover pillows with a towel when using this remedy at bedtime to avoid staining your bedding. Ensure you use cold-processed coconut oil with a natural coconut scent.

6. Castor Oil

Castor oil has various eye health benefits, including treating cataracts and styes. Use hexane-free, cold processed oil when applying castor oil in or around your eyes.

7. Turmeric

Turmeric reduces inflammation and fights many bacteria, including staph, which is the cause of most styes. Turmeric can be taken internally or applied directly on the eye.

To consume turmeric, mix ½ to 1 teaspoon of turmeric with 3 ounces of whole milk or almond milk, and drink it up to three times a day.

Alternatively, mix 1/8 teaspoon of turmeric with an ounce of water and use it as an eye wash three times a day.

8. Honey

Raw honey is sterile and antibacterial. Apply a few drops of honey to the stye twice daily. It may sting at first, but the sensation will pass quickly.

9. Charcoal

Activated charcoal can draw out infection from the stye while also relieving pain and inflammation.

Mix ½ teaspoon activated charcoal powder with ½ teaspoon ground flaxseed and place the mixture into an empty tea bag. Wet the tea bag and apply it to the closed infected eye. Cover with plastic wrap and secure with a bandanna for overnight use.

Alternatively, prepare charcoal eye drops by mixing ½ teaspoon activated charcoal into 4 ounces of pure water, straining it through a coffee filter, and applying a few drops to the affected eye twice daily.

10. Use Strict Hygiene

Wash all towels that come into contact with your face during stye treatment in hot water with bleach or white vinegar. Wash your hands well after touching your eyes to avoid spreading infection. Do not use someone else's makeup, and replace your own eye makeup if you experience recurring styes. Regular use of castor oil to remove eye makeup or charcoal eye drops can help prevent recurring styes.

Differences Between Styes, Conjunctivitis, Blepharitis, and Chalazia

Stye vs. Conjunctivitis

A stye is an infection of an oil gland or eyelash hair follicle in the eye, causing swelling and pain. In contrast, conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva (the clear membrane covering the white part of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelid), which can be caused by bacterial or viral infections.

Stye vs. Blepharitis

Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelid, not necessarily caused by an infection. It is a more chronic condition compared to a stye and is often associated with allergies or skin conditions like rosacea or dandruff. Some stye treatments, such as castor oil, charcoal poultices, and chamomile tea bags, may also be effective for blepharitis.

Stye vs. Chalazion 

While a stye is typically painful, a chalazion is generally not painful. A chalazion tends to be larger than a stye and is located further back on the eyelid. Many stye remedies can also be effective for treating chalazia.

Cautions for Stye Treatment

Avoid using essential oils to treat styes, as they should never be used in or around the eyes due to their potency. If a stye does not respond to natural remedies or appears to worsen, consult a medical professional.

Note: The term "stye" can be spelled as "sty" or "stye," with the medical term being "hordeolum," which is Latin for barley.

In conclusion, styes are common eye infections that can cause discomfort, redness, and swelling. While they usually resolve on their own within 10 days, various home treatments can help speed up the healing process and provide relief.

Maintaining strict hygiene and avoiding using essential oils when treating styes is essential. If you experience recurring styes or if a stye worsens and doesn't respond to natural remedies, consult a medical professional for further guidance. Remember that styes, conjunctivitis, blepharitis, and chalazia are different eye conditions, and it's crucial to identify the correct issue to ensure appropriate treatment.

Share your natural stye remedies and learn from others' experiences to expand your knowledge of effective, at-home treatments below!

Related Links:

Effective Natural Remedies for Chalazion
Natural Cures for Blepharitis
Natural Remedies for Conjunctivitis in Dogs and Cats

Apple Cider Vinegar

4 User Reviews
5 star (4) 

Posted by Julie (Hi) on 06/04/2018

Note: I wanted to clarify my last post.

I've been using ACV to treat sties for years. Bent over the sink, I put a large spoon with ACV in it, up against my CLOSED eye. I'll tilt it a bit making sure I've covered entire eye. I'll hold it there as long as I can-at least a minute. Then rinse my eyes thoroughly with water afterwards. Be careful not to get in the eye because it stings like the dickens, making you literally cry! But, as soon as you flush it out with water, the sting will be gone. To my knowledge, nothing over the counter will heal those sties that fast! Within the day, my eyes feel better. Since using this method, my sty has never gone beyond a day or grown larger! And yes, I learned to use ACV from Earth Clinic. Thank you Earth Clinic, I come to your site often! You've been my faithful doctor for years!!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Julie (Waialua, Hawaii) on 05/04/2018

I've been using ACV to treat sties for years. I put ACV in a large spoon, put it up to my closed eye. I hold it there for as long as I can. Then rinse my eyes with water thoroughly afterwards. Be careful not to get in the eye because it stings like the dickens, making you literally cry! But, as soon as you flush it out with water, the sting will be gone. But I'll tell you what, nothing over the counter will heal those sties that fast! Within the day, my eyes feel better. Since using this method, my sty has never gone beyond a day or grown larger! And yes, I learned to use ACV from Earth Clinic. Thank you Earth Clinic, I come to your site very often! You've been my faithful Dr. for years!!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Lisa (Brisbane) on 04/09/2014


I noticed a red rash above my eye yesterday morning and as the morning went on it got puffier & puffier (suspecting it may turn into a sty) so I put 2 Tablespoons of ACV in a cup of water and each hour bathed my eye with cotton wool and the ACV solution. It was alot bettter by nighttime. My eye was still abit puffy when I awoke this morning, so kept bathing my eye every hour for the next 5 hours and its great. Cured. Fantastic site for solutions to problems.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Vee (Ft. Hood, Texas) on 09/11/2010

Apple Cider Vinegar cured my sty! I was taking it for another issue I was having, and soon after starting, I noticed that a sty that had been on my eyelid for over a year was getting smaller! I didn't use anything different so I am contributing this to the apple cider vinegar. Now it is completely gone and my eye isn't puffy anymore.

Apple Cider Vinegar, White Potato

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Ladydiana (East Windsor, Nj) on 10/14/2015

I had a stye for a few months. Finally, I tried apple cider vinegar heated with paper towel (did not have cotton balls). I put it on for a few minutes at a time. Then when it looked like it came to a head, lid was very white. I took a white potato and cut it and put it on my lid and directly on the stye underneath the lid. My eye oozed for a few days. It worked, I was so amazed!

You have to try the combination of the apple cidar vinegar and white potato because I tried just apple cidar vinegar and it did not go away.

Replied by Niall

Maybe thats just you who needs both. Because more people tried just the ACV and it worked.

Avoid Aluminum Deodorants

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Michael (New Zealand) on 01/18/2021

Years ago, back in the day, I would use a roll-on, underarm deodorant before going out on a date! (We usually washed as well! ). It was quite fashionable back then. Trouble was the kick in the teeth that came along with it!!

The following day I would get a sty in one of my eyes - always the same eye but I have forgotten which one. Took me a while to join the dots as it were but I would normally NEVER get an eye sty. What was going on? Dashed uncomfortable - felt like a rock in the eye.

Someone alerted me to the fact that there was aluminium (or 'a-luminum' as you say over there) listed in the fine print on the back of said container.

I kicked the thing into touch and have never looked back as it were. Smelly dates were better than styed eyes.

Hope this major scientific discovery of mine helps some other folks as well!

Cheers from Down Under


Baby Shampoo

15 User Reviews
5 star (14) 

Posted by Ginny (Kent) on 12/10/2016

Try Johnsons baby shampoo. A Dr. told me this years ago, and when one started up on my lower lid 2 days ago I started using it.

I use a cotton bud to apply it and repeat as often as I can - it really works.

Redness reduced and swelling going down already - Thank goodness.

Baby Shampoo
Posted by Ejburling (Stevenson Ranch, Ca) on 06/17/2016

Staphylococcus aureus, a gram positive cocci, is the bacterial species most often associated with styes. Baby shampoo works because soap is a surfactant and destroys the lipid layer of the bacterial cell wall, killing the bacteria.

Baby Shampoo
Posted by Harper (Dallas, Tx) on 06/16/2016

I have had a persistent, stubborn sty for just over a month now. I tried everything I could think of to help it and was very frustrated with the huge painful red bump on my upper eye. It was embarrassing. I wanted to share the steps I have done to try to heal this thing.

First, I removed my contacts completely and went to glasses for the last 2 weeks. My eyes are breathing better and just feel better in general.

Second, I began using warm washcloths multiple times a day and lightly massaging the sty.

Third, I have been taking echinacea capsules for 2 weeks now.

Fourth, I applied a drop or two of apple cider vinegar directly to the sty (daily).

Fifth, I washed my eyes gently with baby shampoo at least 2 times daily.

Sixth, I made sure I stayed hydrated with spring water.

Seventh, I tried to get extra rest when I could for my eyes.

I don't know exactly which one of these things specifically led to the turning point to start healing this problem, but I just wanted to share all of the things I could think of just in case someone else is just starting to tackle their sty. I think one important factor is to begin treating this immediately! Start right away with the warm washcloths on the sty. I didn't start immediately and it didn't go away on its on for me. I think the most important things are the following: warm washcloth with light massage on sty, wash the eye area with baby shampoo, don't keep touching the area. Only touch it when you are cleaning it or using a washcloth.

My sty is now going down and healing hopefully! Thank you Earth Clinic members for sharing your tips because you helped me a ton!

Baby Shampoo
Posted by Alina (Uk) on 12/19/2014

Hi from the UK. This site is amazing and I want to share my experience. I have always been plagued with styes and chalazions. For years I wore thick NHS glasses then I got contacts and first time ever got compliments on my eyes. Then the styes and more permanent chalazion came. I've had this particular one for about TEN years. V unsightly. I read this site and started using ACV. Then I bought baby shampoo on a whim. Can't hurt I thought. OMG. Within three days it's no longer visible. It's nearly gone. And it was quite big. I hated mostly kids commenting on it and my little nieces were due to visit which I why I wanted to be rid. Baby shampoo on a cotton pad just made it vanish. Thank you Earth Clinic. Thank you people of Earth Clinic. I salute you! Happy Christmas.

Replied by Sujata

hi, did you apply baby baby shampoo directly on the sty or dilute it. I tried both, but the area got redder n more swollen. Am I doing something wrong?

Replied by Barbara
(Aiken, South Carolina)
23 posts

Are you using a branded baby shampoo? It likely contains chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate. That could cause irritation. Major brand baby shampoo is not safe for anything.

Baby Shampoo
Posted by Teresa (Austin, TX) on 08/23/2014

I happened to be looking for holistic remedies for a sty that developed overnight. I have bad allergies and this is what happens. I tried the hot compress first and then applied the baby shampoo for about 2 mins and then ran hot water for about another 2 mins and I treated both eyes because the other one did not present a sty but was just as swollen. It relieved the pain instantly with some swelling left but at least I could see now. It worked within 24hrs, it was all gone.

Baby Shampoo
Posted by Sky (London, Uk) on 01/17/2013

I can't believe how this has worked so fast! I had one stye on lower lid that had kinda burst and was still quite big and painful. I also started feeling another one was growing on upper lid which was reaaally hurting. I came across this site at about 5:00pm, it is now 8:30pm and I can already blink again and the pain is pretty much nearly all gone. My eye is also looking pretty normal! I just can't believe it has worked so well! I have an interview soon and was really worried it wasnt going to clear up in time. I am so grateful for this site. Absolutely amazing!!

Baby Shampoo
Posted by Olglory (Amado, Az) on 07/23/2012

Baby shampoo for styes. When I worked as an ophthalmic tech, I saw many styes successfully treated with the use of baby shampoo. The basic technique is to use very warm compresses on the affected eye first - to open the offending glands - and then gently scrub the lashline with a clean washcloth that has been wrung out in warm water and has only a drop or two of the shampoo applied. If you can manage to use the warm compresses at least two to three times a day, that actually seems to work at least as well as the shampoo.

Baby Shampoo
Posted by Darcie (Burlington , Vt) on 04/06/2012

Yes, baby shampoo is very affective at alleviating styes quickly. I tried two applications- yesterday afternoon and evening, on a under-the-lower-eyelid sty. First I used a cotton swab with a drop on the end to target the sty directly. It stung slightly and my eye teared up a bit. Before bed, I washed my afflicted eye with the baby shampoo in the shower, which seemed like the gentler and better method. This morning my sty is almost gone, along with the discomfort and swelling. Remarkable! Does anyone know why this works?

Baby Shampoo
Posted by The Wife Is Always Right!! (New York, New York ) on 10/18/2011

Yup! It works. My husband used baby shampoo on a terrible Sty he had on his lower eye lid. He was skeptical, but used it in the shower and let it just naturally drip on to his eye ( while washing his hair ). Gone in two showers. Too bad he waited so long heeding my advice!! :)

Replied by Angela
(Cary, Nc)

No, you wash the eye thoroughly inside and out for at least two minutes. Try to do this at least three times a day. It helps believe me. It will sting a bit but the relief is worth it once you start soaping it up. Be sure to wash your hands anytime you come in contact with your eye and hot compresses are a good relief as well. Good luck!