What Is A Verruca?
A verruca is a thickened and elevated small growth of skin that develops when the skin becomes infected by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts can develop anywhere on the foot, but typically occur on areas of direct pressure under the foot, such as the ball and the heel. Hard and thick callus can grow over the wart lesions as they grow inward and make them more painful. Clotted blood vessels or as they are commonly called “wart seeds” present as black dots at the base of the lesions.
What Causes Verrucae?
The human papillomavirus invades the skin by penetrating microscopic breaks, tears, or other vulnerable sites on its surface. This is the same virus that causes warts on other areas of the body and only infects the superficial structures of the skin. HPV thrives in warm, moist environments such as communal bathing facilities and public swimming areas, which can harbour the virus. Warts are often contracted when walking barefoot on dirty surfaces where the virus is lurking specially in children and people who are immunocompromised.
Once the virus enters the skin, symptoms will usually be noticed within several weeks. While most of the warts will not cause any pain and discomfort, the ones that grow on the bottom of your foot (plantar warts) could get very painful upon walking and running. If left untreated, warts can grow to an inch or more in circumference and can spread into clusters of several warts. Warts are spread by touching, scratching, or even by contact with skin shed from another wart.
Why Treat Verrucae?
There is clinical evidence that shows the longer the infection has persisted, the poorer the cure rate. Verruca that present on the feet, in particular, are difficult to resolve. The statistics tell us that 42% of verruca will disappear within 6 months, but if the condition persists for longer than 6 months, the virus's chances of clearing up without treatment drops to just 8%.
While warts and verruca are not life-threatening, they do cause pain that can limit activities, and they can spread across the hands, feet, and to other areas of the body. This leaves the many long-standing sufferers in the UK with limited options.
What is the Treatment of Verrucae?
Your medical history is important when considering treatment options. Conditions impacting your sensation, blood supply or immune response may limit the type of treatment you can receive and could reduce your chances of a positive outcome. Although there is no 100% success rate when it comes to verrucae, we offer the most up-to-date treatment options available, which are clinically proven to have the highest likelihood of success.
At Chiltern Wellbeing we treat Verrucae with a cutting edge, SWIFT® Immunotherapy. SWIFT delivers low dose microwave energy through a specialised probe that targets and effectively treats the underlying HPV virus by stimulating a natural immune response in the body – addressing the root cause; not the symptom.
The SWIFT treatment typically requires 3-4 treatments which are scheduled four weeks apart. The treatment lasts 5-10 minutes with limited debridement, no breaking of the skin and no bandages. No home treatment is required between treatments and patients are able to resume daily activities immediately post-treatment. Research has shown a success rate of 80% using this treatment method.
Can anyone receive this treatment?
With a few exceptions, most people with skin lesions would be able to have this treatment. Swift is not recommended for use on diabetic patients, patients with implanted electronic devices or electrodes or for use close to metallic objects (i.e. metal foot implants, jewellery etc).
Falknor’s Verruca Needling
An innovative and effective treatment for verrucae, which breaks down the verruca and creates a controlled inflammatory response. By puncturing the verruca with an empty sterile needle many times, the viral particles of the virus are directly exposed to the fatty tissue beneath the skin. When this happens, the body’s immune system is able to recognise the virus and start the process of self-healing, destroying the diseased cells.
Performed under local anaesthesia, the treatment is quick and safe with an 75% success rate. Usually 1-2 treatments are needed to completely eradicate verruca.