Anonymous on August 11, 2011

Can genital warts infect the eyes?

I was recently diagnosed with an HPV outbreak on my anus and I’ve had outbreaks on my penis before. Now, it looks like I might have a wart or a stye on my eyelid. Are there treatments for my eyelid (if it is a wart)? I’m a little disturbed by this whole thing and would appreciate your help.

answered by Ruthann M. Cunningham, MD on August 11, 2011

Thanks for your question. I can understand your frustration and confusion. I’ll try to help with some information, but I encourage you to visit your doctor or local health clinic to find out the cause of your symptoms and get appropriate treatment.

First, can genital warts infect the eyes? Not usually. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the virus that causes genital warts. Of the more than 100 types of HPV, the specific types that cause most genital warts are called HPV-6 and HPV-11. And you’re in luck: these two types of HPV usually don’t infect the eyes. There’s an exception to everything, of course, but it’s likely that your eye infection is unrelated to your genital warts. For detailed information about HPV symptoms and genital warts, please turn to our HPV Overview.

Also, because you have HPV, getting tested for other common STDs may be a good idea. Testing for STDs is quick and easy, and allows you to address other potential infections early on...before they potentially develop into more serious health complications, later.

HIV treatment, for example, is drastically better than it used to be and continues to improve. With highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) people with HIV are living longer and healthier lives...but starting treatment early is the best way to stay healthy. Because of your intense genital warts breakouts, I advise you to include HIV testing in your health care routine genital warts can cause bigger problems for people with depressed immune systems. You can learn more about HIV and other STDs in our Expert Guides.

And what about your eye infection? Visit your doctor to find out the cause of the bump near your eye. It’s unlikely that it’s cause by HPV, but it may be a stye. Styes usually occur when one of your hair follicles develops a bacterial infection. This can often be a little painful, but isn’t a very serious problem. Still, it’s a good idea to talk to you regular doctor about it so you can get the right treatment, if necessary.

Thanks again for your question. I encourage you to keep monitoring your health.

Related info:

Ruthann M. Cunningham, MD

Dr. Cunningham is a member of the Analyte Physicans Group. She's also a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, practicing at both Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital in Illinois and at Wheaton Franciscan All Saints Medical Center in Wisconsin. An ER physician since 2000, she regularly treats patients with STDs. Dr. Cunningham was educated at Wayne State University School of Medicine and completed her Emergency Medicine residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, IL.

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