Living with a verruca

verrucaeBarbara, a retired school teacher, attended The Shand Podiatry Practice at the beginning of the year complaining of what she believed to be a verruca on the sole of her foot.
She commented that the verruca had been there for some 7 years now and despite visiting the nurse at her doctors practice for cryotherapy ( freezing therapy) several times, filing the area with an abrasive file and applying a mild caustic acid ( low percentage salicylic acid preparation) the lesion still remained.
The lesion was now getting to the point that the long walks in the country she so enjoyed were simply not worth it.
Barbara heard about our clinic, The Shand Podiatry Practice, from an old friend who had received treatment for a similar problem and found it to be a great success.
She contacted us and arranged an appointment to see our podiatrist Calvin who specialises in the treatment of recalcitrant (chronic) verruca cases.
The callus covering and surrounding the verruca was reduced revealing a single yet large verruca over the ball of the foot. Being an area of the foot that takes a lot of pressure during walking it was no wonder she had been experiencing such discomfort.
Treatment options were discussed and given the fact it was a longstanding lesion, it was painful and previous use of acids and cryotherapy had failed to destroy the lesion it was decided that the best course of action would be verruca needling.
Verruca needling is our most successful treatment to date. It involves anaesthetising the area and puncturing the lesion with a hypodermic needle several times. The effect this has is to create an immune response. The result is the body can then target the viral cells and destroy the verruca.
Sounds painful?
Not at all, we do not inject into the base of the foot now. Instead we introduce the local anaesthetic into a a small fleshy cavity located underneath the inside ankle bone.
This is pain free and numbs the entire sole of the foot.
Within 20-30 minutes we are able to work on the site. Then the procedure takes approximately 10 minutes.
Once we have needled the area we apply a dressing and a thick pad to reduce the pressure on the area from walking.
Barbara reported that she felt no pain or discomfort during the needling procedure and only that the foot felt strange. The reason for this is that the nerve block we perform reduces sensation and muscle power to the entire sole of the foot. For this reason driving is not permitted after the procedure and assistance with walking may be required. It should wear off in a few hours post injection.
Barbara was booked in for a review appointment in 2 weeks time to assess the progress of the resolution.
On return the lesion was reduced with a scalpel) This is painlessly performed.The area felt easier to walk on than before the procedure.
It is important to note that it can take the body sometime to ‘act’ upon the verruca and completely resolve it. Classically it takes in the region of 2-4 months although we have seen complete resolution within 1 month. This will depend on immune status and the strain of the verruca virus.
On review one month later she commented that there was a huge improvement in the symptoms, the area did not appear to be thick and raised like before and most importantly, she could now enjoy her long walks in the countryside again.
On examination it was evident that the verruca needling had been a huge success. There was no evidence of any verruca tissue ( seen as little black specs interspersed in the skin) it appeared that resolution had occurred and we had another happy patient.
If you suffer from persistent verrucas why not pay us a visit and see, if like Barbara, we can help you.
Book online at or call us on 01224 643803.