Hordeolum (Stye) Pediatric Care Plan

By David Shafran, MD
Medically reviewed
December 16, 2020

What is a Hordeolum?

A hordeolum, or stye, occurs when there is an infection of eyelid specifically at the root of the eyelash. Styes often arise spontaneously, but the use of makeup and/or medical conditions like eczema or dandruff can make them more likely to occur. 

Styes are different from chalazions which result from blocked oil glands, tend to be less painful, and can last for months.

Symptoms of a style include:

  • Mild pain
  • Red bump at edge of upper or lower eyelid
  • Mild eyelid swelling

How to Treat a Stye

Styes tend to get bigger, burst then get better on their own. To help the process along:

  • Wash hands regularly and avoid rubbing the eye
  • Do not try to pop the stye!
  • Apply warm compresses for 10 minutes 3-4 times per day
  • Sometimes your child’s provider might recommend a topical antibiotic which can both help prevent infection and reduce eye discomfort

Are styes contagious?

No, they are not. Your child may resume all normal activities without concern for infecting others.

Check in with K if…

  • You have general questions about your child’s condition
  • You want general followup for your child
  • You have questions about supportive care
  • Your child’s symptoms don’t go away after treatment but are not alarming

See a doctor in person if…

  • Pain and swelling become severe
  • Redness spreads to cheek or face
  • Your child develops eye pain or pain with eye movement
  • Your child develops a fever
  • The stye does not get better on its own after 5-7 days
  • There is persistent drainage from the eye
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

David Shafran, MD

Dr. Shafran is a board-certified pediatrics physician. He joins K Health from the Cleveland Clinic, where he led a pediatrics practice and completed a fellowship in transplant ethics. He has completed multiple fellowships, including one in pediatric nephrology at Rainbow, Babies & Children's University Hospitals. He received his medical degree from the Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv and completed his medical residency at the Jacobi Medical Center.