Verruca Treatment: Needling and Cryotherapy
Verruca Needling £175 / Verruca Cryotherapy £35 per appointment
A verruca is a viral infection, which often disappear of their own accord in children within 6 months, but in adults they can be extremely persistent and last for years. If they don’t cause you any pain then we would advise leaving them be. However, if they are bothering you, either physically or mentally, then there are highly effective treatment methods that can be employed: needling and cryotherapy.
Verruca needling, sometimes also referred to as dry needling or surgical needling, is a highly effective treatment for verruca that has been in use for over 40 years. Developed by Gordon Falknor in America, he treated 126 verrucae in 8 months with only two recurring.
A newer study on 46 patients saw a 76% success rate – http://www.mdpi.com/2077-0383/2/2/13
Under local anaesthetic, the verruca is punctured multiple times to stimulate the bodies immune response, so allowing over the coming months for the verruca to disappear. The virus that causes a verruca can live for some time outside the human body, but once it infects a cell in the body it keeps reproducing until enough cells have been changed for the verruca to become visible to us. Every infected cell then needs to be destroyed for it to be successfully treated and an antibody response is highly effective at doing this, which is why needling is so effective. The needling pushes infected cells from the outer layers of the skin through to the lower layers, where the body can detect it, so triggering an immune response. Antibodies are then produced so making the verruca disappear.
If the verruca is spread over several sites only the main lesion needs to be treated. A local anaesthetic is used to carry out the procedure, so unlike cryotherapy it is virtually pain free. Only one treatment session is required.
Please note: You will not be able to drive for 12 hours after the treatment.
You may experience some discomfort for a couple of days following the treatment but you can take non aspirin based pain relief. You will not need to take any recovery time off work.
Verruca needling is the more effective of the two treatment methods however, verruca cryotherapy is also offered for those for whom needling is not an option for whatever reason. To increase the success rate of cryotherapy, at The Foot Clinic we use it in conjunction with the use of salicylic acid.
Cryotherapy is the name given to the direct freezing of skin lesions using liquid nitrogen. Using a ‘gun’ the liquid nitrogen is sprayed directly on to the sites, which results in a rapid freeze and a slow thaw which is the best approach for a successful treatment. A burning or stinging sensation is experienced whilst the freezing and thawing takes place, however after the thaw pain is unlikely although it may get red and swell a bit. The treatment needs to be carried out every 2 or 3 weeks for a few months for it to be effective. If after 4 treatments there is no improvement we would recommend you do not continue with this treatment method as the virus is not responding to it. If, however, improvement is seen then more sessions may be required.
In between appointments patients are advised to use Verrugon, which contains high levels of salicylic acid, on the site, but the podiatrist will go over this with you during your appointment.
Frequently asked questions
They usually appear on the sole of the feet or toes and appear as a hard plaque of skin, with one or more black dots.
The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) gets into the outermost layer of the skin causing the lesions to appear.
Yes, they are contagious, so they can spread from one person to another. They can also spread on the one site in to a cluster.
A corn is just made up of layers of skin, whereas a verruca is an infection. To look at a verruca often has one or more black dots in it, whereas a corn won’t have this feature. A verruca can also look cauliflower like in its appearance. To touch, a verruca is often painful when pinched, whereas a corn becomes painful when it is directly palpated.