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​A sty is a painful, red bump on the eyelid caused by an infected oil or sweat gland. Sties are not very contagious. However, once your child gets a sty, she is more likely to get one again.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Red, tender bump on the eyelid
  • Tenderness around the eye
  • Swelling around the eye
  • Redness on the eyelid

Sty Treatment

To ease the pain and discomfort of a sty, place a warm cloth on the eyelid 3 to 4 times a day until signs of the infection are gone. Antibiotics are generally not helpful with a sty.

When to Call Your Child's Doctor

Call your child's doctor if the warm cloth treatments don't work. In some cases, you may be referred to an eye doctor who can drain the sty surgically.

Last Updated
Common Childhood Infections (Copyright © 2005 American Academy of Pediatrics, updated 10/2012)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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