Stye – Chalazion – Hordeolum

Laura Periman, MD

Stye on Your Eye

Stye? No one likes a big, red, painful bump on their eyelids. Sometimes they come up out of nowhere and the swelling, tenderness and impact on our appearance can be quite bothersome.

I got the idea of using IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) on chalazia or styes after treating my own painful acne lesion that developed the day before a big lecture and interview! Acute acne is inflammation of an oil gland. I thought, well, let’s give IPL a try, because no amount of concealer is going to hide this monster from the camera! Within 24 hours, the acne on my chin was completely gone. I thought, wow, I wonder if this could work for chalazia and styes! These are inflamed oil glands too!

That is how I discovered the effectiveness of using IPL for chalazia and styes. The fresh (acute) ones respond in 3-5 days. We see immediate improvements in the swelling. Patients tell us it feels better within a few hours. For one of the cases from the scientific poster I presented at the 2019 Women In Ophthalmology conference, the lid lesion disappeared in 2 days, right before his job interview for his dream job!

The red eyelid bumps that have been there for more than 3 weeks are ‘chronic’. These take longer to respond to a single IPL treatment, more like 1-2 weeks. These older bumps are more likely to need a second IPL treatment.

The best part of IPL for these inflamed eyelid bumps is that it helps to control the factors that led to the chalazion or stye in the first place! Our recurrent chalazion and stye patients tell us that the frequency of getting the lesions is dramatically reduced!

We are so happy with the clinical results that I am formally studying IPL for styes and chalazia with my excellent colleague Harvey Fishman MD in Menlo Park, CA. Stay tuned for the scientific results!