A professional service of Chiropody and Podiatry in Epsom
For an appointment Call: 01372 723000 / 722092
Stephen Wells BSc(Hons) Podiatry MChS
SWIFT MICROWAVE - The latest technology in the treatment of verrucae & warts
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Can’t get rid of that verruca?
A ground-breaking new treatment may be about to change that.
Everyone knows how difficult a verruca can be to treat. A verruca is caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) - essentially it’s a wart on the foot. This clever virus infects the cells in the outmost layer of the skin (the epidermis) affecting the DNA of the infected cell and stimulating it to reproduce new cells also containing the virus. The virus can be very unpredictable - sometimes lying dormant, sometimes actively spreading. The resulting lesion, the verruca, can be extremely virulent and often painful.
The body’s immune system is very good at eliminating foreign matter - viruses, bacteria etc. If a cell becomes infected it produces a chemical marker on its surface that identifies it as “foreign”. When the immune system sees this marker it attacks the cell and engulfs and disposes of it. Unfortunately, the HPV virus is very clever at preventing the cell from producing this marker allowing it to remain undetected. This is why verrucae can often remain in the skin for many years. Sometimes the virus can stop reproducing and the skin’s natural shedding mechanism will eliminate it and the verrucae will disappear on their own.
Treatments generally involve aggressive destruction of infected skin cells e.g. freezing or the use of acids. They have limited effectiveness and often cause wounds that require dressing and padding. The area can become painful and has to be kept dry. Some treatments require the use of local anaesthetic.
An exciting new development in the treatment of verrucae has recently emerged. Swift® is a new technology, developed in the UK, which has been licensed for the general treatment of skin lesions in Podiatry and Dermatology. Swift® uses microwave energy which is delivered through a special probe applied to the skin to treat the affected tissue. Like many other treatments, some minor discomfort may be experienced. Pain levels vary from person to person but most people undergoing Swift® liken it to a pain similar to an injection or a scratch, lasting 2 - 3 seconds then quickly subsiding. Initial trials have shown a very promising 75% cure rate.
With a few exceptions, most people with verrucae would be able to have this treatment. Your Podiatrist will carry out an assessment prior to treatment and be able to advise you on this.
Tel: 01372 722092 / 723000
4 Ashley Road Epsom Surrey KT18 5AX