Monday, December 3, 2012

Are Eye Styes Contagious?

What is a stye? What do they look like? Are they contagious? How do you get rid of them? As a professional makeup artist it's very important you know the answers to these questions. It's only a matter of time until you have a person in your chair with one. Or you get one yourself.

Stye on outer lid

"What is a sty?" A stye develops when an oil gland at the edge of and eyelid becomes infected.  
"What does it look like?" It looks like a pimple on the eyelid either on the inside or outside of the lid.
"What are the symptoms?" The first signs are swelling, redness and pain. The area will feel tender as well. Then a small pimple will develop in the affected area. Often there will be a yellow "tip" at the center. This is pus that has risen to the top.
"What causes a Stye?" A stye results from an infection of the oil glands of the eyelid that help to lubricate the eyeball. The infection occurs after these glands have become clogged. A stye can come from an infected hair follicle at the base of an eyelash. The bacterium staphylococcus aureus that is frequently found on the skin is responsible for 90%-95% of cases of styes. 

Stye on inner lid
What is the treatment for a stye?  Most styes will go away on their own but applying a warm compress or warm washcloth to the affected area for 10-15 minutes, four to six times a day can speed the healing of a stye. 
Do not squeeze or press the stye. It can spread or worsen the infection. If the stye persists for more than several days or you get multiple styes that persist you should see your doctor who will determine if  it needs to be drained or if you need antibiotic ointments or other treatment. Styes are usually harmless but if they persist or seem to worsen a doctor should be contacted. 

Are Styes Contagious? Yes. It is very important to disgard any makeup that has come in contact with a stye. Sterilize your brushes and makeup tools (like eyelash curlers) thoroughly or discard them. Make sure the sterilizing product kills bacteria. Styes can transfer from one eye to another so do not use the same brush or powder puff on both eyes. A good idea is to use a q-tip, cotton ball or tissue that can be thrown out. 
It is best not to apply makeup on a stye but if it is unavoidable, be gentle and use disposable application techniques and tools.

Some Information obtained from and


  1. I did a little research on how to get rid of them when I got one a while ago. If you tweeze the hair follicle closest to the stye, it should take away the infected gland as well. It worked and the stye went away in less than a day.

  2. Joy, I never thought of that, but it makes perfect sense. I will try that next time I get a sty!