What are verrucae?
Verrucae are benign tumours caused by an infection of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). The most common type on the hands and feet are HPV1, HPV2 & HPV4. Your podiatrist will be able to identify which type of verrucae you have.
The verrucae virus enters your skin after an abrasion has happened. It lies dormant for between 1 and 8 months, then begins to proliferate (grow). Verrucae warts grow in the outer most layer of the skin, the epidermis.
The presence of the verruca virus is not an indication that you have a weakened immune system. The virus itself blocks communication between the cells in your immune system that would usually fight the virus and provide you with future immunity.
Verruca Treatment Options
- Do nothing – If the verruca is not painful and you don’t mind it cosmetically, then there is a good argument for leaving it alone. Some verrucas will eventually be eradicated by your immune system with no other intervention. In children it is often a few months, but in adults they can stay for several years.
2. SWIFT Microwave Therapy – This is a state-of-the-art verruca treatment that is relatively painless and should not affect your daily activities. You can walk out of the clinic without padding or plasters. The treatment is fast and the recommended space between appointments is 4 weeks. Of the verrucas that will resolve, the Swift researchers quote a resolution rate of 92% with 3 treatments.
The Swift probe delivers a pulse of microwave energy into the cells of the verruca. This is to prompt the immune system to respond and fight the verruca. Please see the below video for an overview of how the Swift system will treat your verruca.
We offer the Swift treatment at a pay as you go rate or as a treatment package. The recommended treatment is once every 4 weeks, with a 12 week break after the third treatment if the verruca has not resolved. We do not offer part-refunds if you opt for a treatment package and your verruca has resolved without the need to complete all 3 sessions.
The Swift microwave therapy machine is available at our Burnopfield clinic Mondays to Wednesdays and at our Birtley clinic Thursdays to Saturdays.
Pay as you go – £100 per treatment
Treatment package of up to 3 treatments – £250
3. Needling – In order to eradicate the verrucae virus, your immune system needs to be able to detect it. The immune cells involved in this detection lie in the lower layer of the skin (the dermis). The verruca, however, lies undetected in the epidermis. The needling method works by destroying the HPV infected cells and by pushing those cells through to the dermal layer of the skin so the immune system can detect them.
A local anaesthetic is given by means of injection to the appropriate area of the foot. This may take up to half an hour to work. The anaesthetic lasts for a few hours and should totally block all pain sensation during the procedure.
Once the area surrounding the verruca is completely numb to pain, the chosen verruca will be needled. This involves pushing a sterile needle in and out of the infected tissue many times to destroy the cells.
Current research shows needling has a high success rate. Like any verruca treatment, however, there is no guarantee that it will work for everyone.
The verrucae needling package includes:
- Initial consultation
- Verrucae Needling procedure
- Follow up appointment at 1 week
- Follow up appointment at 8 weeks
If a second needling is required, the cost for the repeat procedure and follow up appointments is discounted to £150.00