Makeup wearers everywhere know the struggle of settling in
for the night, only to realize they’re still wearing the full face of makeup
they applied that morning. While dermatologists urge everyone to wash their
face each morning and night to keep the skin free of impurities, there are just
some times when it feels easier to hit the pillow, makeup intact, and wash it
off in the morning.
If you are one of those people who do this, you aren’t
alone—many people go to bed without washing off their makeup. However, you
should note that there are potential dangers beyond your everyday blackhead or
pimple. You should also be wary of developing styes.
What is a stye?
A stye is a common eye condition that causes a red lump to
form along the edge of an eyelid, usually close to the eyelashes. Styes can
sometimes even develop inside the eye on the underside of the eyelid, but these
are more rare.
Styes are typically caused by the inflammation or infection
of an eyelash follicle or oil gland that excretes oils onto the eyelashes. Dirt
and bacteria can clog the follicle or oil glands, which prevents the oil from
draining. When this happens, bacteria can thrive and cause an infected lump,
much like a pimple.
Styes can be painful and difficult to manage. Because they
form on the extremely sensitive skin of the eyelid and are so close to the eye,
they can cause mild vision obstruction, light sensitivity, pain, inflammation
and swelling in the eye area.
Most people begin to notice a stye forming by thinking there
is something in their eye, like an eyelash or a piece of dust. The area will
usually feel very tender to the touch at first.
Over time, the stye will begin to form, creating a swollen
red bump along the eyelash. This bump may even develop a “head” similar to a
pimple. Once the stye is visible, you may experience crustiness or discharge
around your eyes when you wake up in the morning.
How does washing my face relate?
Styes can happen to just about anyone—sometimes they are a
fluke occurrence because of bacteria. However, you are at a much higher risk of
experiencing styes if you wear makeup and neglect to wash your face.
Eye makeup like mascara and eyeliner is often applied
directly to or around the eyelashes. If you leave makeup on overnight and don’t
wash it off, you’re leaving particles that can end up clogging the oil glands.
Makeup is also related to styes in that it can harbor
bacteria that you later apply directly to your eye area, especially if you’ve
had it for a while or are sharing it with someone else.
To minimize your chances of getting a stye, always wash your
makeup off and never share makeup with other people. The goal is to keep your
eyelids and lashes as clean as possible to prevent clogged glands.
Additionally, avoid wearing makeup if you currently have a stye and throw old
makeup away if you do get one, just to be safe.
How to treat a stye
If you do end up discovering a stye, there’s no need to
panic. Most styes will go away on their own in just a few days, but those days
can seem long and excruciating when dealing with eye pain. Fortunately, there
are a few things you can do to facilitate faster healing of your stye.
- Warm compress: Applying a warm compress to your eye can help draw the stye to the surface and encourage it to drain. Always use a clean washcloth moistened with warm water. Apply the compress to the eye for around 15 minutes a few times a day.
- Gently wash the area: Washing your eye gently each day can help keep the area clean of additional bacteria, as well as remove any discharge caused by a draining stye.
- Wash your hands: Always wash your hands before touching your eye area to prevent the spread of bacteria. This is especially important to avoid developing a stye in the unaffected eye. Styes are contagious and can spread. If you wear contact lenses, always wash your hands before and after inserting them, but be wary of wearing lenses while your stye is healing.
- Never pop it: You absolutely never want to attempt to pop the stye as if it is a pimple. Doing so could spread bacteria into your eye through pus and create much more dangerous problems. Always let a stye drain naturally on its own.
If you’re someone who habitually skips a nightly face
washing, be mindful of the dangers and try to implement a daily wash into your
routine. The few minutes of washing could save you a few days’ worth of eye
irritation and pain!