For a stye, the goal of applying warm compresses is to cause it to rupture, so that the white pus produced by the infection can drain. It’s important to allow the stye to pop on its own, rather than squeeze it yourself.
For a chalazion, applying warm compresses helps to loosen the material in the clogged oil gland, allowing it to drain.
To make a warm compress, heat a wet towel in the microwave until it’s warm, or dip it in hot water and wring it out. Apply the warm, not hot, towel to your eyelid for 5 to 10 minutes.
Styes and chalazia usually begin to shrink after only a few days of treatment with warm compresses. If a bump remains after three or four weeks, your doctor may consider prescribing medication.