February 3, 2013: Dry Needling for persistent verrucas

Verrucas can be difficult to treat at the best of times but some appear particularly persistent. Maidenhead Podiatry has added dry needling to the treatments it offers for verrucas.

Not widely available in Berkshire dry needling is performed under local anesthetic allowing repeated perforation of the verruca to inoculate the underlying tissue allowing the body’s immune system to resolve it.

There are a number of reasons that verrucas and warts are persistent, stubborn and difficult to resolve. Verrucas are an epidermal lesion meaning that they are found in the uppermost layers of the skin and usually begin in the stratum spinosum – the fourth layer of the epidermis. When they increase in size they do not ‘put down roots’ or grow down in to the underlying tissue, rather they increase the size of the indentation they make on the underlying tissue compressing lower structures and often adding to pain and discomfort.

In layman’s terms the epidermis is not where the immune system would normally be looking for pathogens and when the Langerhans cells come looking it could be said that the verruca is hiding where it won’t be found. Once the verruca virus has infected the skin cell it invades it switches off the immune cascade further preventing the body taking swift action to eliminate them.

This means that no matter how well you immune system is working in general it has been switched off and fails to function in the immediate vicinity of a verruca or wart.

The idea behind (dry) needling is that by using a hyperdermic needle to puncture the verruca and push the tissue through the lesion and in to the underlying dermis that you are introducing the virus in to an area of the skin where it will be much more visible to the immune system.

From that point it is hoped that the immune system will take over and the verruca will resolve within one to two months although it can take longer and a repeat visit is sometimes required.

The area will be dressed and there can be some discomfort in the days following treatment but this is not incapacitating and you can still walk, work and shower.

For more information or an appointment, call us on 01628 773588 or e-mail