Verruca Treatment in Chelsea
There are many verrucae treatments on the market...
What is a verruca?
A verruca is a benign tumour caused by a virus. The virus is called human papilloma virus. Keratin is the key structure that makes up hair, nails and skin. The virus affects the epidermal keratinocytes (which are also known as skin cells) usually by an abrasion to the superficial skin surface offering a portal of entry for the virus. There are many human papilloma viruses, however, the main ones to affect the hands and feet are known as HPV 1, 2 and 4. It used to be considered that a person who had a verruca was immune compromised however we now recognise that the virus is very clever simply put goes into hiding. How does it do this? Normally viruses attack cells and damage them. This alerts the host cell which in turn produces cytotoxic (*toxic to the cell) t-cells (the t-cells are just one type of immune cell we have) which look to destroy infected cells. However, the HPV spread through shedding infected cells via the surface of the skin (Longhurst and Bristow, 2013). This means there is no release of viral proteins so that antigens from the immune system are not signalled to act. Further the virus in this case induces anti-inflammatory mechanisms reducing our defence mechanism further.
At present there are many verrucae treatments on the markets. According the National Institute of Clinical Excellence the guidelines outline a preferred course of action such that if a verruca is not painful the advice is to in fact leave the verruca(e) alone.
However, if there is pain and/or any other factors to consider the recommendation is either the application of salicylic acid or freezing the verrucae with approximately 2 week intervals or a combination of both treatments. For children however freezing verrucae is not advised.
At the Chelsea clinic we offer a number of alternatives and offer verrucae needling under local anaesthetic based on Faulknor’s method which was first described 50 years ago. The proposed mechanism of action is that by pushing the virus into the blood stream we activate our own immune cells so that recognition can take place insofar as there is an actual virus in fact attacking the host (the host being ourselves). This in turn activates the antigens an integral part of the immune mechanism and then can mount it’s attack of the HPV. This treatment has a circa 70% success rate with up to 3 treatments necessary with 6 month intervals. For further information please call us for an informal discussion where we can go into more detail.
Now offering home visits and online consultations
Tel: 020 7101 4000