Verrucae are caused by a viral skin infection that can be picked up and spread easily when using communal areas such as swimming pools, gyms, or bathrooms. The Human Papilloma Virus disguises itself making it difficult for the body’s immune system to recognise or respond to the infection.
The HPV infection only invades the outermost part of the skin which allows it to exploit the part of our body where the immune system is the weakest. People can therefore suffer from verrucae for years.
Verrucae are benign and should eventually resolve on their own but many people who live with them find them painful and embarrassing or are concerned about infecting other people as they are highly contagious and can remain on the skin for years.
At Elite Feet Podiatry we are committed to using the most effective and evidence-based treatments to eradicate your verruca infection. Your specialist podiatrist is happy to discuss the use of SWIFT and needling treatments.
What is SWIFT?
Swift is a highly effective and cutting-edge treatment option that is targeted and minimally invasive. It uses microwave energy which is delivered through a special probe applied to the skin to treat the affected tissue. Microwaves have been used safely in clinical settings for over 30 years and are used in podiatry, dermatology and is even used for the treatment of cancer.
How effective is SWIFT?
Swift is the most effective treatment for verruca that currently exists in medicine.
Independent clinical trials conducted by Dr Ivan Bristow (The University of Southampton) demonstrated a resolution rate of 76%. This trial was further supported by research published by Professor Mike Arden Jones from The University of Southampton’s Faculty of Medicine proving that microwaves induce an immune response and are highly effective for clearing verruca.
What is verruca needling?
Verruca needling is performed under local anaesthetic allowing you to be completely comfortable throughout the procedure. The viral infection is pushed into the deeper layers of the skin allowing your body’s immune system to recognise and respond to the infection.
An advantage over other treatments is that only one session of treatment is usually needed and only the main verruca needs to be treated. A systemic immune response is initiated allowing the body to build its own T- cell mediated response. As a result, you have future immunity against being reinfected by that strain of the virus.
How effective is needling?
Recent studies have shown verruca needling has a success rate of 60%.
Are other verruca treatments available?
Freezing verrucae with liquid nitrogen or burning them with acids such as salicylic acid has a very low-resolution rate (approximately 15%). For this reason, we tend not to recommend them.