Warts are highly contagious growths caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). There are various types of warts, which differ in appearance, response to treatment and usual location in the body. Don't try to treat warts around the eye by yourself. See a doctor to determine the diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Types of Warts Near the Eye
Most warts around the eye are filiform warts. These are a special type of wart located primarily on the face or neck. They are the same color as the surrounding skin and can become quite tall. They typically consist of more than one fingerlike projection arising from the top of a stalk. Filiform warts tend to grow quickly but are usually easy to treat.
Why You Should See a Doctor
Most treatments for warts are harmful if they inadvertently get into the eye. This is one reason why you should not attempt to treat warts in this area on your own. Another reason is that most methods to treat warts can cause scarring, especially if they are not used properly. Most people prefer to avoid scarring on their face. Because of this, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends that people with a wart anywhere on the face be treated by a dermatologist. Seeing a doctor is also important to make sure the growth is really a wart and not another problem, such as skin cancer.
Treatments Your Doctor May Recommend
There are several options for treating a wart around the eye. All have advantages and disadvantages and your doctor will help decide which is best for you. Although most methods will successfully remove the wart, none will reliably kill all of the virus. The wart may therefore return in the future.
One option is cryotherapy, which involves applying extremely cold liquid nitrogen to the wart. This freezes and destroys the wart. The opposite -- applying extreme heat to the wart -- is another treatment option. Laser therapy and electrosurgery are the two main methods of applying heat to warts. Cryotherapy and heat treatments often require more than one session to completely remove a wart.
Minor surgery -- removing the wart with small surgical instruments -- will successfully remove the wart in just one session. However, it may be more likely to produce scarring than other methods.
Reviewed and revised by Mary D. Daley, M.D.