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The human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common viruses in the world. Rather than being a single virus, HPV is actually a grouping of over 100 viruses that all affect different areas of the body and manifest themselves differently. Some strains of HPV have no external symptoms at all. HPV usually manifests itself as warts on the eyelid 1.
A wart is a rough, raised part of the skin. Warts are often a different shade from the surrounding skin and are usually painless 1. The strain of HPV that affects the eyes usually causes flat warts, which are small and smooth and erupt in large numbers, and filiform warts, which are thread-like in shape 1. Flat warts tend to be more common in children than in adults 1. Eyes infected with HPV are not usually at risk of more severe symptoms than warts 1.
How to Remove Warts Around the Eye
It is almost impossible to prevent contracting HPV. However, eyelid warts can spread quickly and are easily transmitted through fingers that have had contact with an infected eye 1. For this reason, it may be best to get rid of eyelid warts as quickly as possible 1. There are a number of ways to go about this.
Home remedies for warts include applying vinegar, banana peels and natural extracts such as tea tree oil, dandelion oil and milkweed to the wart 1. On very effective remedy appears to be duct tape occlusion therapy, in which duct tape is put over the wart for weeks to months on end, according to DocShop.com. However, many people with eyelid warts would rather not have duct tape on their eyelids 1. Most home remedies have not been scientifically tested and results are not guaranteed.
What Causes Warts on the Face?
There are also many over-the-counter products that are designed to get rid of warts 1. These usually involve using salicylic acid to burn off the wart, or liquid nitrogen or carbon dioxide to freeze off the wart. As the eye is a sensitive area, it is best to look for products designed for eyelid warts 1. You should not under any circumstances attempt to cut a wart off the skin. Not only is this dangerous so close to the eye, but the wart may simply grow back, or become infected.
- There are also many over-the-counter products that are designed to get rid of warts 1.
- Not only is this dangerous so close to the eye, but the wart may simply grow back, or become infected.
There are a number of procedures that a dermatologist may choose to remove an eyelid wart. They may also attempt to burn or freeze off the wart, using stronger mixtures of the chemicals available over the counter. They may inject the area around the wart with chemicals designed to stimulate the immune system into fighting the HPV virus causing the wart. Laser surgery is also an option to burn off the wart, though when the wart is on the eyelid this may not be an option due to safety concerns.
- There are a number of procedures that a dermatologist may choose to remove an eyelid wart.
You should consult with your doctor before making any decisions concerning wart treatment. As eyelids warts are so close to the eye, it is important to use home remedies and wart removal products with extreme caution 1. If the wart begins to exhibit strange symptoms, such as discharge or bleeding for no reason, contact your doctor immediately.
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- Doc Shop: Warts
- Mayo Clinic: HPV Infection
- InformedHealth.org. Warts: Overview. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). Updated November 7, 2019.
- InformedHealth.org. What are the treatment options for warts? Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). Updated November 7, 2019.
- Al Aboud AM, Nigam PK. Wart (Plantar, Verruca Vulgaris, Verrucae). Treasure Island, FL: StatPearls Publishing. Updated September 27, 2019.
- Liu J, Li H, Yang F, et al. Epidemiology and Clinical Profile of Cutaneous Warts in Chinese College Students: A Cross-Sectional and Follow-Up Study. Sci Rep. 2018;8(1):15450. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-33511-x
- Goldman RD. Duct tape for warts in children: Should nature take its course?. Can Fam Physician. 2019;65(5):337-338.
- Cockayne S, Hewitt C, Hicks K, et al. Cryotherapy versus salicylic acid for the treatment of plantar warts (verrucae): a randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2011;342:d3271. doi:10.1136/bmj.d3271
- Baker DA, Ferris DG, Martens MG, et al. Imiquimod 3.75% cream applied daily to treat anogenital warts: combined results from women in two randomized, placebo-controlled studies. Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol. 2011;2011:806105. doi:10.1155/2011/806105
- Gaston A, Garry RF. Topical vitamin A treatment of recalcitrant common warts. Virol J. 2012;9:21. doi:10.1186/1743-422X-9-21
- Walczuk I, Eertmans F, Rossel B, et al. Efficacy and safety of three cryotherapy devices for wart treatment: A randomized, controlled, investigator-blinded, comparative study. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2018;8(2):203-16. doi:10.1007/s13555-017-0210-5
- Dalimunthe DA, Siregar R, Tanjung C. Comparative clinical efficacy between electrodesiccation with curettage and application of 80% phenol solution in treatment of common warts. Open Access Maced J Med Sci. 2018;6(2):326-9. doi:10.3889/oamjms.2018.074
- Chauhan PS, Mahajan VK, Mehta KS, Rawat R, Sharma V. The efficacy and safety of intralesional immunotherapy with measles, mumps, rubella virus vaccine for the treatment of common warts in adults. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2019;10(1):19-26. doi:10.4103/idoj.IDOJ_142_18
- Nofal A, Elkot R, Nofal E, Mazen M. Combination therapy versus monotherapy in the treatment of recalcitrant warts: A clinical and immunological study. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2018;2018;12848. doi:10.1111/jocd.12848
- Raghukumar S, Ravikumar BC, Vinay KN, et al. Intralesional vitamin D injection in the treatment of recalcitrant warts: A novel proposition. J Cutan Med Surg. 2017;21(4):320-4. doi:10.1177/1203475417704180
Alexander Kennard started writing in 2003. He has written music reviews and articles for "The Reflector" at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada, and has been published on antigonishreview.com. He has a Master of Arts in English from the University of Victoria.