Dry Needling

Dry Needling for Verrucas

Dry needling is an innovative and effective treatment for verrucae (warts), which are benign types of the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) group. It is a form of soft tissue therapy which is intended to break down the verruca and create a controlled inflammatory response which, in turn, stimulates the body’s immune system to recognise the virus and then destroy it. This treatment has been around for over 45 years (being first described in a medical journal in America in 1969) and is used routinely with great success by practitioners internationally.

Needling is different from most of the other treatment modalities (such as caustics, which can entail dozens of applications to be effective) as it only requires between one and three applications making this an ideal treatment for busy people. If a repeat procedure is required, this may be undertake after 3 months to allow for adequate healing and reduction in the chance of scarring. A dressing is applied for 48 hours after treatment, once this is removed, you can shower and continue with daily activities as normal.

How does this work?

By puncturing the verruca with an empty sterile needle many times, the viral particles are directly exposed to the fatty tissue beneath the skin where the body is rich in immune regulators. Here, the immune system can recognise and destroy the virus. As this immune response is often systemic, treatment of only one verruca is required even when there are many lesions as spontaneous remission occurs in all, or most, verrucae at the same time.

What happens on the day and afterwards?

The procedure is carried out painlessly under a local anaesthetic with some soreness for the following 7 days, as to be expected with causing localised trauma, the pain levels are usually dependent on whether the verruca is over a high weight-bearing area. If the site becomes painful after the anaesthetic wears off, use paracetamol to manage pain levels and NOT Ibuprofen, Aspirin or any anti-inflammatory medicine for pain relief. If you are unsure, check with your podiatrist first before self medicating.

On the day of the procedure, please DO NOT drive to/from your appointment. Driving whilst under the influence of a local anaesthetic can invalidate your insurance. Wear loose fitting footwear to accommodate a dressing over the verruca.

The procedure will take approximately 1 hour so please plan accordingly. It is advised to rest for 24 hours post procedure, avoid any strenuous activity following the procedure. A follow up appointment will be arranged for 2 weeks after the procedure, this is to check the healing of the lesion and remove any excess tissue that has formed. A second follow up will be arranged at eight weeks after the procedure, the purpose of this is for inspection of the lesion and to ensure that there are no problems. If in the unlikely event that infection occurs, please contact your podiatrist immediately. The signs of infection are pain with redness, heat, swelling and possibly a smelly discharge from the wound. Alternatively contact your GP or Out of Hours service.