© 2019 Fancy Feet Podiatry/ Chiropody

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What are verrucae?

Verrucae pedis is a skin infection caused by The Human Papilloma Virus. The virus develops in the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). Verrucae usually appear as a plaque of hard skin, and can have black dots (blood vessels) scattered throughout. It is important to remember that the virus is contagious and can spread.  They are extremely common and the majority of us will develop one at some point in our lives.  They are more commonly contracted in swimming pools and gyms as the virus thrives in warm, moist environments.

The problem with verrucae, is they can be very stubborn and difficult to get rid of. Factors such as low immune system and iron deficiency have been known to contribute to prolonged resolution.  

Verrucae resolve at different rates dependant on each individual.  

There are many treatments available for verrucae such as over the counter preps; regular debridement by your podiatrist; various acids applied by your podiatrist; homeopathy; cryotherapy (freezing); needling and many more.  However, a treatment that works for one person, may not work as well for another.

 

It is important to remember that verrucae are a virus. Once your body figures out it is there and how to deal with it, it will resolve on its own eventually.

What is verruca needling?

Verruca needling has been around for decades, but it is only now becoming a frequently used treatment in podiatry. In order to carry out this procedure, your podiatrist will have undertaken specific advanced training in this subject. 

Dry needling is a minor surgical procedure, performed under a local anaesthetic. Once your foot is numb, a fine needle is used to puncture the lesion multiple times. The main aim is to stimulate an immune response and, destroy the virus. The lesions do bleed during the procedure but this stops almost instantly once needling ceases.

It is important to let your podiatrist know if you take any blood thinning medication. 

Appointments generally take up to 1 hour. This allows for the anaesthetic to take effect and the verrucae to be treated.

If you undergo the procedure, you will be reviewed again 1 week later. 

 

It is important to know this procedure is not an instant fix. It will still take a number of weeks, sometimes months for the verrucae to resolve.  In some circumstances, this does not cure the verrucae but does improve them.

You will not be allowed to drive following the procedure as your foot will be numb for up to 4 hours post procedure.

It is advised you bring somebody with you to help you get home safely.

This treatment is only available for those over the age of 18. This is due to those under the age of 18 still building up antibodies and their immune system is still developing.  The chances of the verrucae resolving spontaneously are much higher the younger you are.

Before needling
Immediately after needling

© Fancy Feet Podiatry/ Chiropody

© Fancy Feet Podiatry/ Chiropody

Useful links to research papers on verruca needling: