What is a verruca?
Verrucae, are warts, which are caused by a viral infection.
Initially, verrucae are painless and sometimes disappear by themselves. However, they are sometimes painful and can spread to other areas of the foot.
They are caused by the human papilloma virus, of which there are many variants. The virus is contagious, but not everyone will develop a verruca. They appear as small, innocuous circles on the skin. As they grow, they form a “cauliflower” like appearance and are often covered with tiny black dots, which are small blood vessels.
Verrucae are spread through contact with contaminated surfaces, such as those in areas surrounding swimming pools and communal washing areas. They are more likely to spread if the skin is wet, soft, or has been in contact with a rough surface. People with scratches or cuts on the soles of their feet are particularly vulnerable.
HOw Does treatment Help?
Verruca can be treated in a number of ways:
- Cryotherapy (freezing),
- Caustics (professional grade acids)
- Needling, aim to stimulate your immue system to eliminate the virus
Additionally you can simply have the surface skin removed to allow you to treat them with over the counter products
Often home treat is not as successful because the hard skin on the surface of the verruca needs to be professionally removed to expose the lesion fully when treating it wil freezing or acids
What Does the Needling Procedure Involve?
- The procedure is performed under local anaesthetic.
- The anaesthetic is administered around the ankle to ensure the foot is completely numb before proceeding.
- Once the area has been completely anaesthetised, a hypodermic needle is used to repeatedly puncture the verruca cells
- This encourages an immune response to help your body eliminate the virus within the tissues and resolve the problem
After the procedure, a simple dry dressing is applied. This must be kept dry for at least twenty-four hours. The anaesthetic will start to wear off in two to three hours, but do not be concerned if it takes a little longer, as the effects vary from person to person. After 48 hours, showering is permitted, and life can continue as normal.
Benefits of Needling
Most of the treatments for verrucae cause some degree of pain, so needling is the best choice for removing those tricky viral infections.
Only one session of treatment is needed. Needling triggers a systematic immune response that targets the entire verruca. Cryosurgery and caustic treatments take multiple sessions.
Needling does not destroy skin tissue, however, the outcome does depend on your general health and medical history.
It has the highest rate of success when compared to other treatments.
It is important to note that not all verrucae will respond to treatment, and needling is not available for those under the age of 18. The clinic does offer other options, including cryosurgery and the use of strong acids. Other foot conditions that are dealt with include ingrown toenails and sports injuries.