Firstly, what is a Verruca?
A Verruca is a benign tumour, caused by an infection of the epidermis by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
How do you get a verruca?
The virus enters the epidermis through abrasions of the skin surface. Here, the virus can remain latent for up to 8 months, evading the local immune system.
What do verrucas look like?
The virus alters the character of the epidermis, resulting in the visible warty appearance and there may be small black bleeding points.
If I have a verruca does it mean I have a compromised immune system?
A long standing (recalcitrant) verruca is not indicative of a compromised immune system in a healthy individual.
What is the most effective Verruca Treatment?
There is no definitive answer. There are a number of ways that the HPV evades our immune system and its best defence appears to be how it stops inflammation which prevents our cells from ‘dealing with the virus’. Once our cells find the virus they mount an inflammatory global attack and destroy all lesions. Therefor, the aim of any treatment is to initiate this inflammatory response.
However, treatments can fail due to the messengers being ambushed, hence why no single treatment is effective all the time.
What verruca treatments are available for self care at home?
You may have tried, banana skin, vinegar, vapor rub, tea tree oil, stealing meat from the butcher and burying it (I know, very bizarre), over the counter caustics, duct tape etc etc. These, you may have realised have limited success.
What treatments are offered in clinic?
We only offer best evidence treatments in our podiatry clinic. We may suggest caustics, occlusive therapy, debridement, needling or no treatment, dependent on the individual.
For example, Verruca Needling is one of the treatments we can offer. It is designed to make the immune system aware of the presence of the verruca through stimulation and is conducted under local anaesthesia.
When the lesion is completely numb, the infected tissue can be broken down with a small needle. You do not feel this at all. Your foot stays numb for a couple of hours after, and you can get up and walk after surgery!
Below are the before and after photos of a recalcitrant/long standing painful verruca which was successfully treated with one session of Verruca Needling.
To learn more about needling and other treatment options available in clinic telephone
Chapel-en-le-Frith or Buxton Clinic on 01298 937921 or Bakewell Clinic 01629 259672.