Verrucae & Wart Treatment
Verrucae are caused by a virus, the human papilloma virus, and this is the same virus that causes warts, so a verruca is simply a wart on the foot. There are over 70 types of human papilloma virus so verrucae come in many shapes and sizes; some easier to treat than others. The infected cells cannot be cured, they must be destroyed. If any of the cells survive treatment, then the verruca will reappear.
How do I know if I have a verruca?
The surface usually appears rough and cauliflower-like, and you may also see small black dots – these are old blood vessels, not roots which is a common misconception! Verrucae rarely hurt to press unless they are large. They will, however, hurt if they are squeezed and the opposite is usually the case for corns. As there are so many different types, it is better to let a podiatrist give you a diagnosis.
Types Of treatment
Treatment varies depending on various factors, e.g. type, size, number, location, the age of the patient, patient’s occupation, etc. At the Sussex Foot Centre we offer various treatments to suit you and the type of verruca:
Cryotherapy (freezing) – The freeze is usually applied via a probe; this minimizes the trauma to the surrounding area and allows for a deeper penetration of freeze. It may also be applied as a spray.
Caustic Therapy – Caustics are applied usually on a weekly basis for 4-6 weeks, dependent on the size and persistence of the verruca, and are much stronger and more effective than treatments that you can purchase from a pharmacist. Self-applied home treatments are usually added between visits to speed up treatment time.
- Dry Needling – Dry needling is carried out painlessly under local anaesthetic. A sterile needle is then used to cause a localised trauma to the verruca itself. The aim of this is to implant the virally infected cells deeper in to the tissue where it is quickly detected by the immune system and an immune response is stimulated. This process has been around for nearly 40 years but its only recently reaching the shores of the UK from the states. It is very effective and suitable for most verrucas.
Electrosurgery – This verruca removal surgery is performed under local anaesthesia so there is no pain during the procedure. This method of treatment destroys the infected cells in one treatment.