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Q&A
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What is the cause for recurrent boils in my eyes?

Answered by: Prof. Jayakar Thomas
Senior Consultant Dermatologist
Kanchi Kamakoti CHILDS Trust Hospital
Chennai

Q. I am a 26 years old woman. The problem is that for the past 10 months I am getting boils in my eyes, nose and ears. When I consulted an eye doctor he gave gentamicin eye drops and eye ointment. I get boils mostly during my periods or a week before or after periods. Now, I have a boil in my left eye. It is quiet big and I feel severe pain too. As per the doctor’s advice I am now applying chloramphenicol ointment twice a day and nicol eye drops. Why am I getting these boils so frequently?

A.  I must tell you that recurrent attacks of boils or 'styes' are due to colonies of bacteria in and around the eyes. Another common reason is a refractory error in the eye. In the first case, care should be taken on local hygiene. Sometimes these bacteria can reach the eyes from distant sites like the genital and anal areas. So careful cleaning of hands after using the toilet is essential. Also continuous use of ophthalmic antibiotics even when there are no boils will remove remnant bacteria and keep the surrounding area sterile. Refractory errors will need the attention of an ophthalmologist.

A.  I must tell you that recurrent attacks of boils or 'styes' are due to colonies of bacteria in and around the eyes. Another common reason is a refractory error in the eye. In the first case, care should be taken on local hygiene. Sometimes these bacteria can reach the eyes from distant sites like the genital and anal areas. So careful cleaning of hands after using the toilet is essential. Also continuous use of ophthalmic antibiotics even when there are no boils will remove remnant bacteria and keep the surrounding area sterile. Refractory errors will need the attention of an ophthalmologist.

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