Feet Street Podiatry Clinics in South & East Belfast offer Swift verruca treatment, a new technology developed in the UK, which has been licensed for the general treatment of verrucae and warts in podiatry.
Swift verruca treatment
Swift verruca treatment uses microwave energy delivered through a special probe applied to the skin to treat the affected tissue. Microwaves work by generating heat in the wart/verruca, focused under the probe, to a maximum depth of 5mm.
Microwaves love water and when the electric field is applied, local water dipoles (H2O) try to align with field but lag slightly behind causing collision between molecules and therefore generating heat.
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Who can benefit?
Almost anyone who has stubborn warts and verrucae can benefit from Swift. There are contra-indications to Swift but outside these anyone who has warts/verrucae on their hands or feet can benefit.
Can anyone have Swift verruca treatment?
With a few exceptions, most people with verrucae and warts should be able to have this treatment. Your podiatrist will carry out assessment prior to treatment and advise you accordingly.
Swift is suitable for most people with few exceptions, although the purpose and reason for a consultation prior to treatment is to identify anyone for who it may not be appropriate.
One of our podiatrists will discuss any concerns with you.
Swift treatment precautions
If any of the following apply to you, speak to your Podiatrist before the treatment:
- Metal pins, plates or replacement joints in the foot or ankle
- Neuropathy or poor peripheral circulation
- Poor or limited healing capacity
- Immune suppression
- Pregnancy or breast feeding. It is known that verrucae and warts can increase in size during this period
- Low pain threshold
- Young children – treatment on children under ten years old may not be appropriate for a number of reasons which one of our podiatrists will discuss with you during your consultation.
Common SWIFT Treatment Questions
Immediately after the treatment there will be no change to the appearance of the wart/verruca. A change should start to show after a few days.
Swift works by prompting an immune response and time is needed for the process to gather pace.
That is why there is a gap of at least two weeks to a month between treatments and depending on the number of verrucae, duration of existence and size, the treatment can take 6 to 12 months on average for the verrucae to disappear. Sadly, patience is often required but the treatment is extremely effective for stubborn warts and verrucae.
As regression is established the verruca will shrink in from the edges at the same time as reducing in thickness – or ‘debulking’. The dermal ridges or ‘fingerprint’ of the underlying tissue will gradually re-establish itself as the verruca resolves.
A follow up visit will allow one of our Podiatrists to evaluate any changes and make a decision on whether or not you require another Swift application.
This depends on how you respond to treatment, the location, duration, size and numbers of verrucae. Some resolve within three treatments but more may be needed particularly with large or multiple lesions. These can be from 14 days to over a month apart depending on progress.
Your podiatrist will discuss this with you. When the virus enters the skin, some people’s immune systems immediately respond by producing antibodies and killing it dead. Others don’t and a verruca will form.
However, the necessary immune response can still happen at any time, and, days, weeks, months or years later, the verruca can suddenly disappear. This commonly occurs in most young children. This is why your GP will tell you to leave it alone and it will go away in time.
Verrucae are also so common and are not life threatening, so most GPs have decided it is therefore not cost effective to offer any treatment on the NHS.
Having a verruca does not mean there is anything wrong with your immune system but for some people, especially adults, not treating verrucae allows the virus to spread, the verrucae to get bigger, painful or even embarrassing. Swift is designed to prompt that local immune response for the body to get rid of the virus.
Swift treatment results in a degree of localised tissue damage prompting a healing response part of which is antibody recruitment. It is also thought to stimulate heat stress protein production which is known to prompt a strong healing response. Patients who are immune suppressed are at risk of developing multiple, resistant lesions, which are difficult to treat.
Swift treatment consists of timed bursts of microwaves, usually up to five seconds applied twice. Large and multiple sites can be treated during each appointment.
The microwaves are applied through a specialised applicator direct to the wart/verruca. Your podiatrist may prepare the site by gently shaving off overlying dead skin with a scalpel.
Treatment is applied in timed bursts and can be applied to one or multiple sites with a short pause between each application. The number of sites to be treated can be discussed with one of our Podiatrists.
As with many treatments for skin lesions, some discomfort, even pain may be experienced during and after treatment.
Sensation varies from person to person but most people undergoing Swift describe it as similar to a prick with a needle although some may find it more painful. Some people develop blood blisters similar to those encountered with liquid nitrogen treatments.
If you have any issues following Swift treatment, we would suggest you contact us either for reassurance or for further treatment to relieve any discomfort you are unable to tolerate.
Swift is applied for up to 5 seconds at a time and any discomfort usually lasts 1-2 seconds then quickly subsides and disappears. In most cases, some minor discomfort or tingling may be experienced for 24hrs before dissipating completely.
Depending on the numbers of verrucae and the pain threshold of a patient, a local anaesthetic can be administered and for numerous verrucae, an ankle block anaesthetic can be administered to numb the whole foot. This is especially useful for large or numerous verrucae.
Normally any pain or discomfort ends as soon as the treatment is finished but it is possible there may be some minor discomfort.
However, one of the great things about Swift is there is no broken skin, also no dressings and no need to keep it dry. Therefore, you can do anything you wish. Swim, shower, run, jump and play.
Once the wart/verruca has gone, it is usually gone for good.
However, even though Swift works by prompting an immune response and production of the appropriate antibodies communicating a degree of immunity, there can never be a guarantee that you won’t catch another at some point in the future or that some verrucae may not yet have erupted in the same location.
The virus is a very virulent one and some people are more prone to them than others.
How does it compare with other treatments
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