Verruca needling stimulates the body’s immune system to heal warts and verrucas. Treatments involve minimal discomfort, speedy recoveries, are often effective with one procedure.
WHAT IS a verruca?
A verruca is a viral infection of the superficial layers of skin, it is similar to a wart however it is commonly found on the sole of the foot. These can be of varying size and number and can occur anywhere on the foot. Classically, they are well defined and have little black dots on the surface of the skin which are blood vessels that have been pushed towards the surface.
Verrucas may or may not be painful. An early stage verruca can look like a small, discoloured blemish on the skin, and can be easily mistaken for a corn. Sometimes a verruca can quickly spread into a cluster made up of many tiny verrucae. Verrucas that grow together in a cluster are known as mosaic warts. The pressure from normal standing and walking tends to force the verruca into the skin. Like all warts, they are harmless and may go away even without treatment, but in many cases, they are too painful to ignore.
They are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and are passed from person to person by direct contact. The virus is thought to thrive in moist, damp environments such as swimming pools, changing room floors and communal shower areas.
what is verruca needling?
Verruca needling is a procedure where the verruca/wart is punctured with a small needle to cause bleeding and stimulate the body’s immune system to resolve the problem.
Is this suitable for multiple / large verrucae?
The treatment is appropriate for all verrucae / warts although often the largest is targeted in the first instance.
what other Treatment Options are there?
Cryotherapy. Liquid Nitrogen
Salycylic acid topical acid application
What is the advantage of this procedure?
There are many treatments for a verruca / wart although the results are mixed and the treatments are often painful. In addition, they often require several consultations. Verruca needling is an effective treatment, often working following the first treatment. Patients can remove the dressing the within 1-3 days and continue life as normal.
Is verruca needling painful?
This procedure is performed under local anaesthetic and therefore does not hurt. A recent study found that patients experienced minimal postoperative pain.
Will I need to take a painkiller afterwards?
These are generally not necessary and anti-inflammatories should be avoided as there is a theoretical chance this could reduce the body’s immune response to the treatment.
How successful is the treatment?
Until recently, there was very little information on success rates. However, a recent paper has demonstrated:
31 patients (69%) had complete resolution
3 patients had reduced size and pain
11 showed no improvement
There were no postoperative infections or scarring
Only mild symptoms were reported such as bruising, slight discomfort
However, a more recent paper concluded that a single treatment was no more effective than removing the callous. This would indicate that a single treatment is less effective and that patients may need more than one treatment to get the better outcomes observed in the first paper.