Stye is the common term used for an acute infection of the oil glands. They are located on the eyelid margins. The correct medical term is hordeolum. Styes are usually caused by the Staphylococcus bacteria and are very common among the following groups of people: children, those with chronic lid infections, diabetics, and sometimes in debilitated patients with poor hygiene.
Styes tend to be painful, especially in the early stages when swelling and redness are prominent. With time, they often form an abscess which points to the skin, more rarely toward the eyeball itself.
Treatment consists of frequent hot packs, which usually speed up the formation of white heads and pointing to the surface. Antibiotic drops help to decrease the number of germs present and prevent spread.
Rarely is surgical drainage necessary. If the tissues surrounding the stye are swollen and seem infected as well, oral antibiotics may be helpful in clearing up the condition more rapidly. Scarring is a very rare consequence of styes.