Symptoms of a chalazion or stye are treated with one or more of the following methods:

Warm compresses
Soak a clean washcloth in hot water and apply the cloth to the lid for 10 to 15 minutes, three or five times a day until the chalazion or stye is gone. You should repeatedly soak the cloth in hot water to maintain adequate heat. The warm compress should allow the clogged gland to open and drain white or yellow discharge. If the gland opens, gentle massage around the stye or chalazion may help drainage.

Antibiotic ointments
An antibiotic ointment may be prescribed if bacteria infect a chalazion, or if a stye does not improve after treatment with warm compresses or if it keeps coming back.

Steroid injections
A steroid (cortisone) injection is sometimes used to reduce swelling of a chalazion.

Surgical removal
If a large chalazion or stye does not heal after other treatments or if it affects your vision, your Eye M.D. may need to drain it in surgery. The procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia in your ophthalmologist's office. 

Chalazia and styes usually respond well to treatment, although some people tend to have them recur. If a chalazion comes back in the same place, your ophthalmologist may suggest a biopsy (where a tiny piece of tissue is surgically removed and studied) to rule out more serious problems.

Don't wear eye makeup or contact lenses until after the stye or chalazion heals.

Written by
Reviewed by Dr. Elena Jiménez on Sept. 1, 2013

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