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.
A wart is a rough, raised part of the skin. Warts are often a different shade from the surrounding skin and are usually painless. 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. Flat warts tend to be more common in children than in adults. Eyes infected with HPV are not usually at risk of more severe symptoms than warts.
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. For this reason, it may be best to get rid of eyelid warts as quickly as possible. 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. 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. Most home remedies have not been scientifically tested and results are not guaranteed.
There are also many over-the-counter products that are designed to get rid of warts. 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. 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 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.
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. If the wart begins to exhibit strange symptoms, such as discharge or bleeding for no reason, contact your doctor immediately.