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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 10553
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I have a recurring stye in one eye. My eye will get red and

Customer Question

I have a recurring stye in one eye. My eye will get red and watery and then in a few days a "stye" will appear, stay while, go away and then in a few weeks the situation will start all over again. i am female, age 73
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 4 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

You most likely have a component of dry eyes, allergies and blepharitis going on that is causing you to get so many recurrent styes.

Dr. Rick :

When it comes to allergies it is almost impossible to pin down the offending agent(s) and, therefore, treatment needs to focus on controlling the symptoms. Dry eyes are very common and can be improved by a stepwise series of therapies. First, the use of natural tears 4-6+ times/day to augment your natural tear production, if this doesn’t work then you can try temporary punctal occlusion of the lower puncta, then, if needed, temporary occlusion of all 4 puncta then, if indicated, surgical ( non-reversible) closure of the puncta. The openings to your tear drainage system are called puncta and you have one opening on each lid, near your nose.


Blepharitis is a condition where glands in the eyelids are not functioning normally. They become plugged and instead of putting out their normal clear, oily secretions, they put out thick, toothpaste like gunk. You may not be able to see this “gunk” yourself, unless it is really bad, but it shows up clearly on slit lamp examination.


The best treatment for this condition daily lid scrubs combined with warm compresses. I like to use baby shampoo for lid scrubs. In the shower, place the shampoo on your index fingers, close your eyes, raise your eyebrows (to stretch the skin on your eyelids) and scrub back and forth along your eyelashes for 3 to 5 minutes. The hot water in the shower helps to soften the plugged oils in the glands while the mechanical scrubbing with your soapy fingers removes the oils.


Baby shampoo lid scrubs will also help to wash away allergens and stimulate tear production, thereby addressing all three of your issues. Remember, this is not an instant fix. While you are waiting for the lid scrubs to have affect you can use over the counter allergy pills such as Travist, dimetapp or Zyrtec.


Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

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Dr. Rick :

I see that you are currently offline. We can switch to the Q&A system and continue to work on your question there. An email will be sent to each of us anytime something is posted to this thread. See you there :o)


Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 4 years ago.
this treatment should stop you from getting so many styes.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Any chance it could be any kind of skin cancer?
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 4 years ago.
yes, that is possible, however, an ophthalmologist would be able to tell the two of them apart without any difficulty.
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have a Basal cell carcinoma on my eyelid. I will have Moh surgery 4/27
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the feedback.

I'm glad you got the correct diagnosis. As you probably already know, basal cell carcinoma is very, very, very curable. And, with a mohs micrographic surgeon doing the surgery, you will have the best chance of getting it all at the expense of the least amount of normal surrounding tissue. You are in good hands. :-)

I wish you the very best.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 4 years ago.
I was just thinking about you and wondering how your Mohs surgeon treated you. Did she have any difficulty getting it all and reconstructing the residual lid defect?