Can Castor Oil Cause Styes?

Can Castor Oil Cause Styes

Castor oil is a thick, viscous oil with laxative properties. Castor oil, a natural oil derived from the castor bean plant, has various uses. It’s also used in some beauty products for promoting hair growth, including eyelashes. 

However, when it comes to styes, those red, inflamed bumps on your eyelid, castor oil can actually be counterproductive. Do you ever get a sore, red bump on your eyelid? Itchy and annoying? Those are styes, and they’re no fun! 

In this article, we will discuss can Castor Oil cause Styes, different kinds, why that castor oil you might be using for eyelashes isn’t actually a good idea and how can we avoid from styes using Castor Oil.

What is a Stye?

A stye, medically known as a hordeolum, is a small, localized infection of an oil gland near the base of your eyelashes. These glands, called meibomian glands, produce oil that helps lubricate your eye and keep it healthy. When bacteria clog and infect one of these glands, a stye forms.

It’s common to have a stye on only one eyelid, but it’s also possible to get styes on both lids. A stye usually lasts one to two weeks and will usually go away on its own.

Does Castor Oil Cause Styes?

No, castor oil itself is not likely to directly cause a stye. Styes are caused by bacterial infections, not by natural oils like castor oil.

However, because castor oil is an oil, and oils can clog the tiny glands in your eyelids. These glands are responsible for producing oil that helps keep your eyes lubricated. If the glands become clogged, it can create a perfect environment for bacteria to grow, which can lead to a stye.

How Castor Oil Might Cause Styes?

Castor oil, a natural oil derived from the castor bean plant, has gained popularity for its various uses, including promoting eyelash growth. However, when it comes to styes, castor oil is not your best friend. Here’s why:

  • Risk of Infection: Castor oil itself isn’t inherently bad. However, applying it directly to your eye introduces the risk of infection. The oil can trap bacteria and irritate the delicate eye area, potentially worsening the stye.
  • Clogged Glands: Our eyelids have tiny oil glands (meibomian glands) that produce oils to lubricate and protect our eyes. While castor oil might seem like a potential lubricant, it can actually clog these very glands. This blockage can trap existing bacteria, irritate the area, and even contribute to future styes.

Related: Castor Oil for Lipoma: Does it really Shrink it?

What are the Types of Styes?

There are two main types of styes:

1. External Hordeolum:

This is the most common type of stye. It forms on the outer edge of the eyelid, near the base of your eyelashes. It looks like a pimple on your eyelid and is usually quite painful.

2. Internal Hordeolum:

This type of stye forms on the inside of your eyelid, closer to your eye. It may not be as visible as an external hordeolum, but it can still be quite uncomfortable. Internal styes are usually less painful than external styes.

Symptoms of a Stye

A stye is a sore bump near the eye. It can take a few days for the bump to get big enough to see.

  • Painful, red bump on the eyelid
  • Tenderness to the touch
  • Tearing or watering of the eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Feeling like something is in your eye

Avoiding Styes and Castor Oil Alternatives

Styes usually go away on their own within a week or two. Here are some home remedies and medications to help speed up the healing process and keep your eyes healthy:

  • Cleanliness is Key: Regularly wash your eyelids with a gentle, diluted baby shampoo solution. This removes dirt, oil, and bacteria that can clog glands and lead to infection.
  • Makeup Matters: Avoid sharing eye makeup and replace yours regularly, especially mascara and eyeliner. Old makeup can harbor bacteria that can contribute to styes. Always remove your eye makeup thoroughly before bed.
  • Don’t Touch: Resist the urge to rub or touch your eyes, especially if you suspect a stye is forming. Touching your eyes can transfer bacteria and worsen the infection.
  • Healthy Habits: Maintain good overall hygiene, including washing your hands frequently. This helps prevent the spread of bacteria that can cause styes.
  • Warm Compresses: Apply a warm compress, like a washcloth soaked in warm water, to the affected area for 10-15 minutes at a time, several times a day. This helps draw out the pus and reduce inflammation.
  • Steroids: Sometimes doctors use steroids to fight styes. These steroids come in two forms:
  1. Shots: A doctor might inject a tiny amount of steroid medication directly into the stye. This can help the stye heal faster and reduce pain.
  2. Eye Drops or Creams: In some cases, doctors might prescribe steroid eye drops or creams for styes. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor before using any new eye medication.

How to Keep Your Eyes Bump-Free?

  • Wash your hands before touching your eyes.
  • Remove eye makeup before bed.
  • Clean your eyelids gently with warm water and soap.
  • Use warm compresses to prevent new styes.
  • Avoid touching the stye unless cleaning it, and wash your hands well if you do.
  • Wash your pillowcases often.

However, if the stye does not improve, you may need to rely on an eye care provider to drain it. They may also prescribe antibiotics to reduce the infection.

Alternative Solutions for Eyelash Growth

If you’re interested in promoting eyelash growth, consider safer alternatives to castor oil:

  • A Balanced Diet: Ensure you’re getting enough essential nutrients like biotin, vitamins A, C, and E, which contribute to healthy hair growth, including eyelashes.
  • Petroleum Jelly: Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to your clean eyelashes before bed. This can help keep them moisturized and potentially promote growth.

When to See a Doctor?

If your stye doesn’t improve within a week or two, becomes very painful, or spreads to other parts of your eye, consult a doctor.

For persistent or recurring styes, consult an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) for a proper diagnosis and treatment. They may prescribe antibiotic eye drops or ointment to treat the infection.

See a doctor if you experience recurring styes as well. It might indicate the presence of an underlying illness such as cellulitis, blepharitis, or conjunctivitis.


In conclusion, while castor oil has its uses, it’s best to avoid using it on your eyes, especially when dealing with a stye. Simple home remedies like gentle eyelid hygiene and maintaining good overall hygiene are more effective in preventing styes and keeping your eyes healthy. If a stye develops, consult a doctor for proper management and avoid using castor oil, as it might worsen the situation.


What is the Speedy Solution of the Styes?

While warm compresses can help a stye heal faster, there’s no one-shot cure. See a doctor if it worsens or persists.

Does sleeping reduce stye?

To prevent a stye, try to keep your stress in check by getting enough sleep, exercising, or trying meditation or yoga. Also, avoid touching your eyes with your hands and practice good eye hygiene habits.

Why Should You Use Castor Oil For Eyes?

You actually shouldn’t use castor oil for your eyes. While it’s a popular natural remedy for various purposes, it can worsen styes, those red bumps on your eyelid.

When Should You Avoid Using Castor Oil?

Skip castor oil for: eyes (styes!), open wounds, pregnancy/breastfeeding, internal use (except laxative with doctor’s advice), and certain medical conditions (ask your doctor).



The information provided in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Don’t ignore professional medical advice or put off seeking it just because of something you read here. Although we aim to offer precise and current information, we do not guarantee its completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability for any purpose. Using the information in this document is at your own risk. We are not responsible for any losses or damages caused by our content.

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