Verruca Treatment

What Is A Verruca & How You Might Have Got One

Verrucae are benign tumours which are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).  There are currently more than 200 known types of HPV and these determine the anatomical distribution and morphology of the lesion, ie where they are found on the body.  The most common warts and verrucae on hands and feet are subtypes HPV-1, HPV-2,  HPV-4, 27 and 57.

So, how did you get your verrucae or wart?  Well, that’s a really good question!   The virus can only enter the skin when the skin’s barrier has been broken.  So, for example, the tiles around the swimming pool and in communal changing rooms are often rough.  Many people walk around barefoot and therefore cause micro tears in the skin.  These skin tears then allow the virus to populate in the skin.

Verrucae Treatment

Your own immune system is generally good at fighting the verrucae virus but sometimes we see people who have had theirs for many years.  They do not have to be painful (in fact I have seen patients who didn’t even know the had a verrucae), they can be unsightly, and they can be quite large.  It is very important to remember that having the verrucae does not mean that your immune system is weak and therefore needs a boost.  The only way to find out if your immune system is struggling is to have a series of blood tests at your GP’s.  So there is no need to go and get “immune boosting tablets or powders”, they just won’t do anything!

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Why are there so many different treatments for verrucae?

The reason is that there is NO treatment that is 100% effective, I so wish there was.  25% of verrucae won’t respond to any form of treatment. However, for some patients the regular reduction of the verrucae provides pain relief. Podiatrists generally do not recommend over the counter treatments that you can buy at the chemist. The majority of these treatments are ineffective and in some cases cause considerable pain and discomfort as they are not applied properly.  We always advise to come and see us to assess the lesion (it might not be a verrucae in the first place) and discuss the appropriate course of treatment.

Over the years there have been many treatments that Podiatrists have used. From regular debridement, acid treatment, liquid nitrogen, surgical removal and so on. These days we tend to focus on treatments which are well tolerated by the patient and don’t need too much attention between appointments.

At Centre 4 Feet we mainly offer a mild acid treatment for younger patients with strict application advice for parents or carers, Swift microwave treatment (see further information on our website), Verrutop treatment, regular debridement or referral to another specialist for more invasive treatment.

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Verruca Treatment Methods

How long will it take for my verrucae to go?

Well, remember that 25% of verrucae sadly won’t go. Swift microwave treatment is initially a course of 3 treatments a month between each treatment with a 3 month follow up. So that’s a 6 month course of treatment but it can take longer.  Many patients need a few more Swift applications. Verrutop treatment which is new to the Podiatry world involves an initial treatment with a 2 week follow up repeated up to 6 times if needed. With any treatment it’s important to remember that is very unusual for it to work the first time. I always say to my patients that we need to be persistent and consistent.

Try Swift Verrucae Treatment

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Week 1

During your first treatment, your Podiatrist may lightly reduce your lesion with a blade (debride), before applying 3-5 very short treatments with Swift (usually 2 seconds in duration). This quickly raises the temperature within the skin, without breaking the surface – meaning no blisters, no padding, and no scarring. It is not uncommon for patients to feel a sharp sensation, similar to an injection, but unlike most treatments for verruca, pain felt during the treatment quickly subsides.

Week 4

Your second treatment for Swift will usually occur 4 weeks later. Some patients will see black spots appear beneath the surface of the skin after the 1st treatment, but the size of the lesion may remain the same. The Swift treatment works by reducing the depth, rather than the width. Your Podiatrist will provide advice on what to expect, but patients report a similar sensation to their 1st treatment.

Week 8

Your third appointment will usually be your last treatment appointment, although your Podiatrist will provide specific advice based on your individual condition. Of the patients who will resolve, 93% will resolve after this final treatment.

Week 20

Your Podiatrist will usually leave a gap of 12 weeks for the body to heal and cycle through the immune response. You should feel little to no pain from the verruca at this stage, and your normal skin should be returning where the verruca was.

Verrutop Verruca Treatment

This is one of the newest treatments on the market and one that we are pleased to offer here at Centre4Feet.
Verrutop Verruca Treatment Graphic
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Frequently Asked Questions

Are verrucas painful?

Verrucas can be painful depending on where they are on the foot.

Can verrucas get infected?

Verrucas can get infected, especially if treated at home or treated badly.

Can you get verruca on your finger?

Absolutely, you can get a verruca on your finger and these we call warts (but are the same family of HPV). We can treat these also.

Are verruca contagious?

Verrucas are not generally contagious.

How to remove a verruca root?

Verruca roots cannot be removed as they do not have roots. It’s best to speak to a qualified professional for more information on verruca treatment, you’re welcome to call us.

What other verruca treatments are available?

  • Laser verruca removal – This is very expensive and there is not much scientific evidence that this works. It’s very painful too.
  • Verruca needling – This is an option but it involves a local anaesthetic and creates a wound which could get infected.
  • Verruca cryotherapy – A less used treatment these days and one that’s not well tolerated by patients, it’s only around 50% successful.
  • Pulling a verruca out with tweezers – Can’t be done!

As an expert in the industry, I’d always recommend speaking with an experienced Podiatrist regarding verruca removal.

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