Verrucae can be a nuisance! These unsightly growths are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus, the same virus that causes warts on other parts of the body. There are over 100 strains of the virus, with a few that have a particular fondness for the feet.
The trouble is, being a virus, they don’t float around in the body waiting to be attacked by the immune system, like a bacteria would but invade the outer layers of skin cells and hide inside them. To make matters worse, they force these invaded cells to replicate, to make more copies of itself, producing the resultant warty growth.
Treatments for verrucae therefore often place an emphasis on encouraging the body to recognise these foreign viral particles by destroying the infected skin cells and ‘presenting’ the virus to the immune system.
Unfortunately, there is no one treatment that’s guaranteed to work and lots of treatments fail in this area as they do not cause enough cell damage to produce a response…
Acid treatments and freezing are generally two of the first line therapies used in the battle against verrucae as well as a whole array of weird and wacky remedies with anecdotal support, from garlic to sticky tape.
However, there is another option to add to the arsenal – Needling. Once numbed, the verruca is repeatedly punctured with a needle.
The theory is, that not only does this release the viral particles for detection, it also pushes them deeper into the skin, where the immune cells responsible for producing the antibodies to it dwell.
This is a treatment offered by a growing number of podiatrists, including us, with promising results.
A verrucae success story for a Kenilworth Footcare Patient!
Mrs A came to us earlier in the year with 3 nasty mosaic verrucae (clusters rather than individual lesions) on the ball of her left foot. The first cluster had appeared 10 years ago, a second cluster 3 years ago and now a 3rd cluster had appeared. She had tries courses of cryotherapy, as well as do-it-yourself over the counter preparations, and was rather fed up…
After a thorough assessment of her overall health and the suitability of the verrucae for needling, Leigh injected local anaesthetic into her foot and then ‘needled’ the latest batch of verrucae. Several follow-up appointments were booked to check on her progress, to remove the scabbing that formed and to change dressings. Once healing was under way, we asked Mrs A to return in 1 month, by which time the skin would have had chance to regenerate.
One month later, a delighted Mrs A came into clinic to show off her foot. Not only had the needled verrucae gone, but the older clusters had also disappeared. Pushing the viral particles deeper into her system had given her immune system the boost it needed to fight back.
If you have persistent verrucae and have tried everything, this is an option that might be worth considering. Don’t suffer in pain, get in touch today to book your appointment.