Verruca & Warts

Here at Zest we treat lots of customers (including children) with troublesome verrucae and warts. We appreciate that they can be time consuming or difficult to treat at home; can be painful or just plain unsightly. Is it a verruca?

Verrucae or warts are a virus (part of the Human Papillo Virus species) that are usually contracted when walking barefoot in communal areas such as changing rooms pool and showers. They infect the skin cells in the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and as such is not always detected by the body’s own defence mechanism as they have a barrier around them.

The HPV infects the skin cells in the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and areis not always detected by the body’s own defence mechanism as they have a barrier around them. There are over 100 HPV subtypes which can look slightly different on the skin.

Verruca and warts are common in children but we do see a lot of adults too. Also for those patients whose immune system is suppressed by drugs or a medical condition verrucae and warts are very common.

The aim of the treatments are to kill the virus infected skin cells and provoke the body’s own immune response to kill the virus from within.

Treatment

The aim of the treatments are to kill the virus infected skin cells and provoke the body’s own immune response to kill the virus from within.

We offer a range of treatments here at Zest including the newest microwave treatment, SWIFT which has high success rates and positive patient feedback.

Treatments include:

  • SWIFT microwave therapy (patient information)
  • Falknors Needling
  • Cryotherapy
  • Acid based treatments
  • Occlusion
  • Our range of treatments is designed to offer options and price packages – please see Price List for more pricing information.

Swift Microwave Therapy is designed to use microwaves which heat up the infected tissue which in turn breaks down the barrier around the verruca or wart and allows the body’s immune systems to fight off the viral infection.

The microwave delivers rapid heat into the infected tissue but does not break the skin so no need for dressings, and is delivered in rapid bursts of heat so no need for a local anaesthetic with little or no pain after treatment.

The standard protocol is to offer three SWIFT 3 treatments at 4 week intervals. These are followed up with a review appointment at 3 and 6 months. It is worth noting that it can take up to 6 months for the body’s immune system to clear the verrucae/wart with this treatment .

At the 6 month review, should the podiatrist agree with you that further SWIFT therapy is required, this can be done at an extra charge

swift

Falknor`s needling procedure is a form of soft tissue therapy which is intended to break down the verruca and create a controlled inflammatory response which, in turn, stimulates the body’s immune system to recognise the virus and destroy it. The treatment has been around for over 45 years and is used routinely with great success by practitioners internationally.

Needling is different from most other treatments as it only requires one, or occasionally two, applications making this an ideal treatment for busy people.

It requires a local anaesthetic and there will be a wound which will require daily dressings for 2 days. There may be some short term discomfort for 2-3 days also.

Cryotherapy is an established method that delivers very cold temperature to the affected skin from -89°C to -196°C. Here at Zest Podiatry we favour the Cryopen X system which uses nitrous oxide at -89°C to deliver an effective treatment minimising the risk of blistering or scarring.

The method of freezing at -89°C is cold enough to destroy skin cells by rupturing the cell membrane, this in turn triggers the body’s own immune system to repair skin and detect the HPV infection.

During the treatment the podiatrist will carry out 2 freeze cycles on the targeted area using a high jet of nitrous oxide. If indicated, they will apply salicylic acid to the verruca/wart and cover with tape.

Again, if indicated they may advise you to use salicylic acid and tape in-between cryotherapy treatments.

The standard practice is to repeat the freezing treatment every 2-3 weeks until the verruca/warts have cleared up, to a maximum of approximately 6 treatments. If further treatment is required this can be discussed with your podiatrist and alternative treatments can be considered.

Salicylic acid paints and gels are available to apply directly onto verrucae or warts and are available in different strengths from clinic or the local pharmacy.

Acid based treatments work by removing the outer layers of skin which in turn should trigger the immune system to destroy the virus.

Using acids treatment alone can be a long term process as it is recommended that they are applied daily for up to 12 weeks. Care needs to be taken when applying the treatment so that the healthy surrounding or adjacent skin is not damaged with a risk of spreading the verruca/wart.

Occlusion Covering or occluding the verruca or wart can help break down the epidermis of the skin , similar to salicylic acid, and trigger an immune system response.

We recommend kinesiology tape as this has been tested for use on the skin and is very good at staying on the skin, unlike duct tape.

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