Plantar warts, also known as plantar verrucae, can be both painful and unsightly. Usually, they will resolve with (or without) simple over-the-counter treatments. Occasionally they prove to be stubborn and this is where treatment alternatives to the common at home remedies become invaluable.
Multiple needling is a simple and effective way to treat stubborn plantar warts. Unlike other treatments such as acids and freezing, multiple needling aims to provide a strong immune response to fight the wart and improve clearance. Afterall, a wart is a virus that evades detection from the immune system by growing in the epidermis (outer layer of skin), so any treatment that provides a strong immune response is generally more effective. Multiple needling aims to create a cell mediated immune response which allows the body to fight off the infection and prevent re-infection of the same virus.
What multiple needling for warts involves:
- Painless debriding of the dead skin overlying the wart
- Providing a local anaesthetic to numb the entire wart to be treated
- Puncture the wart with a sterile hypodermic needle to the point that the wart tissue is sufficiently 'broken up'
- Apply a dressing
- Apply a pad to offload the treated area so that weight bearing is comfortable.
- Usually we will review 2 weeks after treatment to check progress and shave off any build up of callous.
- A 10 week check to assess for resolution.
- Occasionally if the 1st attempt of multiple needling does not work, we will recommend a 2nd treatment.
More info about multiple needling for warts:
Multiple needling is usually a once off treatment and can be less painful than freezing or strong acids. It can be particularly useful for stubborn warts that have failed standard treatments, or for multiple or mosaic warts where it can be impractical to apply acid or freezing product to such a large surface area of the foot. For multiple or mosaic warts, we identify the most mature wart and treat it in isolation. Due to the strong systemic immune stimulating effect of multiple needling, you can expect resolution of not only the treated wart, but also any other warts on the foot, even the opposite foot.