If you've ever had a stye, chances are you won't want another one anytime soon. But it might be worth asking yourself: Is your makeup causing styes? And for those who are new to the world of styes, listen up. According to England's National Health Service, a stye is, "a small, painful lump on the inside or outside of the eyelid." The NHS explained that there are two types of stye: Internal and external styes. Although an external stye is found on the brink of the eyelid and might later transform into a pus-filled pimple, for many people the worse of the two is the often more painful internal kind, that pop up on the inside of your eyelid, like an irritating, uninvited guest. Are you grossed out yet? Don't worry, you soon will be.
So how does one develop a stye? The cause of a stye is commonly a staphylococcus bacteria eye infection. This bacteria is usually harmless, but they can turn nasty; without boring you to tears with the science of it all, external and internal styes are caused by different infected eye areas. The NHS explains that external styes can be caused by an eyelash follicle infection or a sebaceous or apocrine gland infection, while an infected meibomian gland can cause internal styes. Still with me?
According to a WebMD article reviewed by Dr. Rob Hicks, "Our bodies are coated with billions of friendly bacteria that coexist with us. When the conditions are just right the bacteria feast on dead cells and other debris, resulting in the tender pimple." So how do we prevent this bacteria from becoming harmful? Staphylococcal infections can be prevented by keeping skin clean and washing your hands, especially if you've been in close quarters with someone who has a "staph" infection.
With all of this taken into consideration, it would appear that makeup could assist in causing styes. Firstly, if you share eye makeup or makeup applicators with someone who has a stye, the "staph" infection could be passed along to you, resulting in you developing a stye too. Secondly, if you're not removing your makeup as often as you should be (AKA every time you wear it), you may be unknowingly leaving lingering makeup particles that your bacteria can "feast" upon.
You might wish to steer clear of hanging on to old makeup too. Today reported on their eye-opening findings about germs within old makeup products, "The longer you use a product, the easier it is for bacteria or fungi to get into your makeup, potentially causing eye or skin infections, health experts warn." Today also discovered that, "Dr. Andrea Thau, a New York optometrist and a spokesperson for the American Optometric Association, says she treats one or two women each month for cosmetic-related infections."
So although using makeup regularly may not directly cause styes, neglecting to remove it, sharing makeup with others who have styes, and using old makeup could all contribute to a stye.