Fed up with that Verruca?
A verruca is a very common foot complaint and is essentially a wart which develops on the foot. Though usually painless, they can often be uncomfortable if on an area of pressure on the foot. In the past the best verruca removal treatments have involved causing a breakdown of the skin cells that contain the virus, removing the damaged tissue, and then allowing the area to heal.
Verruca can vary in appearance, but often take up a ‘cauliflower’ type shape. They usually appear as a plaque of hard skin, with an irregular border and can have black dots (blood vessels) scattered throughout. Verrucas can be on the soles of the feet or on the toes whilst warts are usually on the hands. Verruca on toes and verruca between toes are just as common as verruca on heels, or as a wart on finger or hand.
Verrucas are caused by the Human-Papilloma Virus (HPV). The virus usually enters the body through skin-to-skin contact and lives in the outer layer (epidermis). Since it does not enter the bloodstream, the body often finds it difficult to recognise that a verruca is present and the immune system fails to attack it. This can make getting rid of verrucas or warts difficult.
It is often suggested that verruca disappear on their own, however, this time scale can vary from one person to another with some saying that they have had verrucas for years. Although there is no ‘wonder’ cure for healing verruca, traditional treatments generally aim to cause a breakdown in the skin to enable removal of the infected tissue.
Example Treatment Progression with Swift
27th July 2020, prior to 1st Swift treatment
24th August 2020, After 1st Swift, prior to the 2nd application
21st September 2020, After 2nd Swift, prior 3rd Swift treatment
14th December 2020, After 3rd Swift treatment, 3 month review
A new treatment of verrucas is now available which is a much cleaner, called SWIFT microwave technology…
SWIFT Microwave treatment
This is the latest product on the market. It uses microwave technology treatment to agitate the fluid in the cells that contain the virus. This promotes the release of heat proteins, which pass into the bloodstream and initiates an immune reaction. This causes your body to fight the virus and is a completely different way of tackling the verruca, from the traditional methods, discussed above, that merely cause a breakdown.
Many different plantar wart treatments are available for use at home, such as mild concentrations of salicylic acid creams & gels. These are usually between 10% – 26% acid and are often a good first line of treatment and can be particularly effective in getting rid of verrucas in children. Salicylic acid softens the skin cells that contain the verruca virus making them easier to remove.
In our clinic, we use a 60 or 70 % acid paste (dependant on age). This is applied using a pad on the foot which is kept on and dry for at least 5 days. The salicylic acid softens and breaks down the cells. This process is repeated every 2 weeks until the verruca is eliminated. In our experience, we find that the average number of treatments required is 8 – 10.
The Verruca is frozen for 30 seconds 3 times at each appointment using a liquid cryogen. This causes the cells containing the virus to swell and burst. After treatment, a blister appears. The process is repeated every 3 weeks until the verruca is gone. Again our experience is that an average of 8 to 10 treatments will be required.
This is applied to the verruca, causing a black plaque to appear due to the silver nitrate oxidising with the air. It causes a thin layer of skin to be cauterised and therefore kills those cells that it comes into contact with. Although much less uncomfortable than the other methods, this treatment does not penetrate as deep.
It should be noted that the Forest Foot & Health Clinic specialises in verruca treatment with over 23 years of experience. However, no verruca treatment is guaranteed to work in a timely manner and sadly all treatments are painful.