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Verrucae (plural of verruca) are caused by the human papilloma virus and may occur as a single or multiple growths affecting the hands and feet. Verrucae are one of the most common viral infections of the skin. They are caught by cross-infection from communal floor areas such as swimming pools and communal showers.

Some verrucae will disappear spontaneously, without any treatment, however, it is impossible to know whether any particular verruca will disappear or indeed multiply. However, treatment is usually recommended if: The verruca is painful, they begin to spread rapidly or there is more than one verruca present, they are present for 2 years or longer or the patient is worried about spreading them to other members of the family.

Verruca Treatment

Verrucae (plural of verruca) are caused by the human papilloma virus and may occur as a single or multiple growths affecting the hands and feet. Verrucae are one of the most common viral infections of the skin. They are caught by cross-infection from communal floor areas such as swimming pools and communal showers. Cuts or blisters on the foot will increase the chances of infection because these provide an easier entry point for the virus. Those most at risk are people who very sweaty feet as the wetter and therefore softer skin can be more easily penetrated by the virus, however, there is no known reason as to why some people are, or become, more susceptible than others. The virus has a lengthy incubation period, which means that it may lay undetected, within the tissues of the skin, for up to a year before appearing on the surface of the skin as a verruca. The virus extremely contagious, both to the person with the verruca and to others. Verrucae can only be spread by contact with the virus itself and the virus cannot spread through the body via the blood vessels etc.

Treatments

Some verrucae will disappear spontaneously, without any treatment, however, it is impossible to know whether any particular verruca will disappear or indeed multiply. However, treatment is usually recommended if: The verruca is painful, they begin to spread rapidly or there is more than one verruca present, they are present for 2 years or longer or the patient is worried about spreading them to other members of the family.

Types of Verrucae Treatment

Chemical Verruca Treatment

Whilst almost always acid based, there may be instances when an alkali is used instead but this would be decided by your chiropodist, in differing strengths and these my be used in different combinations. In most instances, chemical treatments will have to be applied on a two weekly basis and failure to follow-up treatments when advised will result in failure of the treatment and possibly increased resistance to treatment from the virus.

Cryotherapy Verruca Treatment

This may be used where appropriate. This is using extreme temperature (cold) to destroy both the virus and also the damaged skin (the warty tissue). If this treatment is chosen your chiropodist will ask you to return within a 2-4 week period. Unlike the chemical treatments, the return period is not quite as strict so this treatment is often chosen when the patient has difficulty attending on a weekly basis. However, follow-ups are still needed. This treatment may not be suitable for those people with either extremely large areas of verrucae or large numbers of individual growths.

Needle Verruca Treatment

Dry needling is an innovative and highly effective treatment for stubborn verruca. Most verruca treatments like cryotherapy or chemical caustics create a thermal or chemical burn and the verruca is destroyed with the ensuing inflammation and cell death.

Dry needling however implants the virus into the dermal layer of the skin so that the body’s immune system can come into contact with the virus thereby stimulating a cell-mediated immune response.

Electrotherapy Verruca Treatment

This treatment requires a local anaesthetic beforehand and is usually only used in instances where the verruca is failing to respond to any of the more conventional treatments. The downside to this is that the patient will require a fairly lengthy healing period as there may be quite a large and often fairly deep wound following the treatment.

Risks

Podiatry/Chiropody like all forms of health care, while offering considerable benefits, may also provide some level of risk. The most common risks of Verrucae Treatment include, but are not limited to:

·       It is common to have some degree of pain after the treatment. This could last from a few minutes to days.  The pain is usual minor, but could, rarely, be severe, requiring pain medication for a day or two.  If this were to happen, you should contact us.

·       Blister and scab formation are very common and should be expected.

·       Infection is possible, but is uncommon.  If you notice increased pain days after the treatment, yellowish fluid or pus, reddish streaks from the treated site, please contact us.

·      Verrucae Treatment can result in permanent changes in the colour of the treated skin, and these changes, if they occur, could be very visible.  This usually means white areas, but in some cases, the skin could be darker in color.

·       Cryotherapy can, rarely, lead to nerve damage in the area treated.  This would be noticed usually as numbness.  Numbness, if it occurs, is usually temporary, but could be permanent.

·       Verruca Treatment can result in scars that are raised, red, itchy, or tender, and could be permanent.  There are treatments that can improve the appearance of these type of scars, in most cases however.

FAQs

Are verrucae serious?

They are harmless but in some circumstances they develop on a weight bearing area of the foot where they are likely to be painful. In these areas callus (hard skin)
can also form over the top of the verruca, increasing the discomfort. Some strains of verrucae spread very quickly and can become unsightly.

Who gets verrucae?

They are most commonly seen in children, teenagers and young adults. Basically those who use communal changing rooms. In time, immunity may develop against the verruca virus but some people do remain more susceptible than others

How long will treatment take?

Unfortunately, it is not possible at the start of treatment to predict exactly how many sessions will be needed with any of the treatments. Generally speaking, the longer the verruca has been present, the weaker the treatment being used; history of self-treatment and/or uncompleted treatments and long gaps between treatments, the longer to clear.

Which Treatment is best?

There is no one treatment that is best for all patients and all verrucae! Treatment chosen will be decided on a number of factors and will always be decided between yourself and your chiropodist who is the best person to guide you. A treatment that has been successful on your friend may not be the best choice for you. Please always feel free to ask your chiropodist if you have any queries regarding the treatments. A small number of verrucae may prove to be extremely stubborn particularly if there is a history of “partial treatments” and it may be that several different types of treatments need to be tried before finding the appropriate one. In these instances, your chiropodist will guide you. Rarely, verrucae do not respond to any treatments and in these extreme cases your chiropodist will discuss with you whether to continue with the treatment.

Why Us

When you visit Healthplus Clinics Chiropody and Podiatry you will experience a unique and pro-active treatment service with a Chiropodist/Podiatrist interested in your individualised treatment. You will be welcomed to Healthplus Chiropody and Podiatry by the vibrant clinic environment and cheerful staff and receive personal attention and thorough detail from your Chiropodist/Podiatrist.

At Healthplus Chiropody and Podiatry we have a Five Point Promise which separates us from our competitors. Our clinicians will always advise you of the lowest cost option for your individual condition or injury. Our aftercare service means that we will provide help and assistance should this be necessary with sequential and periodic reviews.

Five Point Promise:

1.   Specialist Chiropodist/Podatrist

2.   Clinically comprehensive

3.   Transparent prices

4.   Individualized treatment

5.   Professional aftercare

In addition Healthplus Chiropody and Podiatry offers:

  • Friendly and courteous staff.
  • Convenient appointment times.
  • Prompt service, we will never keep you waiting for a long period of time.
  • Professional but comfortable atmosphere.
  • Large treatment rooms with state of the art equipment.
  • Convenient location.
  • Over a decades of experience, with patients from celebrities, professional & Olympic athletes.
  • Consultant, GP, insurance and rehabilitation company referrals.
  • Direct claim procedure.
  • Lunch time and early morning appointments.
Resources

Advice to Patients Following Verrucae Treatment

Cryotherapy Verrucae Treatment

Your verrucae/wart has been treated with liquid nitrogen. This method of treatment involves applying very low temperatures to the verrucae. This freezing of the tissues may produce a blister.

This treatment can be painful. If you experience any discomfort after treatment you should consider taking an appropriate analgesic – on which you would normally take for a headache.

A dressing is not always applied after treatment. If a dressing has been applied it will usually contain a soothing antiseptic cream or ointment and although not imperative, it will help if you keep it dry for 12-24 hours. The pad will help to keep pressure of the treated area so many people find it beneficial to keep the pad in place for 2-4 days. However, if you feel you would be comfortable without it, the pad may be removed.

If a blister forms:

·      The size of the blister will vary from person to person

·      If a small blister forms – do not puncture

·      If a large blister forms and is pain free – do not puncture

·      If a large blister forms and is extremely painful – please contact the surgery to arrange to com in. In most cases your podiatrist will be able to ease the pain instantly.

·      Do not attempt to puncture the blister yourself

·      If the podiatrist is unavailable you should contact your GP surgery.

Normal daily activities can continue to be carried out.

It is important for you to attend follow up appointments provided.

 

Important Information

The physical response to treatment varies and cannot always be predicted as every individual is different.

There is no guarantee that the treatment will help the condition you are seeking treatment for and there are associated risks as noted previously.

One of the most important factors in recovering and reaching your objectives through Verrucae Treatment is the regularity of your sessions. We request you make it a priority to follow your treatment plan. Your podiatrist will review your treatment after 4 sessions and if no progress has been made treatment may be stopped and another form of treatment recommended.

Treatment involves a course of treatment, on average, 3–10 treatments (average 6) are needed. A guarantee cannot be given as verrucae are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus.

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