Please, Please Stop Rubbing Jalapeños on Your Eye Styes
It’s official: Tiktok’s at-home remedies have gone too far. While we swear by some DIY beauty solutions — like, say, coconut oil — the latest social media trend has left us concerned, and honestly, confused. Some TikTok users have been using jalapeños as a healing remedy for styes, which are those painful, pimple-like eye infections that are caused by inflamed oil glands along the eyelid. In a recent video, one user recommends rubbing a jalapeño along your eye in order to heal these pesky infections, saying this technique “worked like a charm.” Needless to say, we needed input from the experts.
Meet the Experts:
Can jalapeños actually cure styes?
Unsurprisingly, board-certified ophthalmologist and founder of Twenty/Twenty Beauty, Diane Hilal-Campo, MD, says this is a major no-no. “Anyone who’s accidentally touched their eyes after cooking with hot peppers knows that having a jalapeño anywhere near your eye is a bad idea,” she explains. After all, the compound that makes jalapeños spicy — capsaicin — is the active ingredient in pepper spray, which clearly doesn’t feel great when it’s in contact with your eyes.
Hamza Bhatti, MD, board-certified dermatologist in New York City, agrees: “This remedy can lead to further irritation, possible infection, redness of the eyelid skin, or even cause damage to the eye, such as corneal damage. This could worsen the condition and require the use of antibiotics.” And though the jalapeños used in the videos appear whole and uncut, these potential side effects are certainly not worth the risk.
While avoiding this beauty hack seems like common sense, quite a few TikTokers swear by similar natural remedies when it comes to treating styes. One woman claims rubbing garlic on an inflamed eyelid helps minimize the swelling, while another says apple cider vinegar is her go-to for speeding up healing for styes. But again, these treatments are not expert-approved.