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Verruca Needling

Updated: Jul 19, 2022

Many people with verrucae worry about how they look, especially if they’re on a visible part of the foot. Verruca (Verruca Pedis) is a very common complaint, and though usually painless, they can often be unsightly and often painful if on an area of pressure.

What is a Verruca?

Verrucae are a skin infection which attack the outermost layer of the skin (epidermis) and cause visible lesions to the skin. They usually appear as a visible raised area of hard skin with an irregular boarder and have black dots (blood vessels) spread throughout. This virus is contagious and can be spread through a portal of entry.

The only way a verruca can be successfully treated is if every cell is destroyed. The only way this can be done is through an antibody response. For the same reason that we cannot cure the common cold and flu, we cannot cure verrucae but the immune system can. That is when verruca needing is useful.

What is Verruca Needling?

Verruca Needling is a minor surgical procedure which involves the use of a fine needle to puncture the verruca lesion and dermo epiderdermal junction multiple times under a local anaesthesia tibial block. The aim is to implant infected cells into the dermis layer, therefore stimulating an immune response and destruction of the virus.

One huge advantage of verruca needling over other treatments, such as cryosurgery and caustics (silver nitrate and salicylic acid) is that only one session is usually needed. If you have multiple lesions then still the only 'primary lesion' needs to be treated as a systemic immune response is initiated. There is no evidence that suggests using this technique can further spread the virus.

There are few contraindications as verruca needling does not destroy skin tissue but, as with all procedures, the outcomes are influenced by your general health and medical history.

At Podiatry & Wellness Clinic we do offer caustic therapy which is a lot less intrusive than verruca needling. The aim of the treatment is the same: triggering the immune system to recognise and destroy the virus. However, success rates are a lot lower.

Recent studies have shown that verruca needling has a success rate of approximately 69%. As with all verruca treatments, results cannot be guaranteed.

Important Information for the Day of Verruca Needling

  • You will need to make arrangements for getting a lift home with someone as you will not be covered by your car insurance to drive for 12 hours.

  • You will need to inform the podiatrist of any changes to you medication or changes in your health.

  • You should not require any time off work.

  • The anaesthetic should start to wear off in two to three hours but do not be concerned if it takes a little longer as the effects vary from person to person

Verruca Needling After Care

Once the procedure has been completed, a simple dressing is applied.

This must be kept dry for 24-48 hours. After 48 hours, showering is permitted.

There may be some slight discomfort for the first couple of days and pain relief may be taken as long as it is not aspirin based.

The site of the procedure will be checked one week later to check healing. Then a follow-up appointment 12-16 weeks later will be carried out to see how treatment has progressed and what the outcome is.

At your 12-16 week appointment, if the verruca has not changed in appearance, a second treatment will be offered at a reduced price of £100, and this will be valid for 3 months.

Verruca Prevention

Verrucae can develop after contact with infected skin scales – for example from the floors of public changing rooms, shower cubicles and the areas around swimming pools.

The virus is not highly contagious, and it is unclear why some people develop verrucae while others do not. The virus enters the skin through tiny breaks in the skin surface. Moistness and maceration of the skin on the feet probably makes infection with the virus easier.

  • Wear comfortable shoes and do not share your shoes or socks with anyone else.

  • Keep your feet clean and dry.

  • Change your socks daily.

  • Do not go barefoot in public places.

Verruca Needling Prices

Procedure - £275 (this includes pre op assessment, procedure, dressings and up to 2 post op visits including debridement)

Call 01323 301480 to book your appointment.

Please note that verruca needling can only be offered at our Polegate clinic, however we can offer the initial assessment and follow-up appointments in Burwash if needed.


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