A papilloma is a bump on the eyelid or skin around the eye that looks like a skin tag.  These are almost always harmless proliferations of skin cells that have a stuck-on appearance and can be very unsightly. They typically form on the skin around the eyelids and even along the lid margin in the eyelash line. They are sometimes caused by the human papilloma virus (like a wart) but usually they have no known cause. A papilloma can usually be taken off in the office by numbing the skin and cutting them off at the base. Cautery (with a surgical “soldering iron”) is usually performed at the base to stop bleeding and to decrease the chance of the papilloma coming back. Cautery gives a surprisingly good cosmetic result, though we have to be careful when working near the edge of the eyelid. If the papilloma is in the lash line, there is a chance that the lashes will not regrow in that spot or they may grow in a funny direction when the area heals (this is called trichiasis).

Dr. Timothy Root is a practicing ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Daytona Beach, Florida. His books, video lectures, and training resources can be found at:


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