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Debridement is the removal of tissue that makes up a verruca as well as any overlying callus

What is debridement?

Debridement is a method of treatment that is used in podiatry to help remove the overlying tissue of a verruca and reduce any associated pain. A podiatrist will use scalpel to take off the top layers of the lesion either as a treatment on its own or prior to other treatments in order to prepare the area.

How does debridement work?

Debriding a verruca can help to treat it in a number of ways. A verruca may be debrided for the following reasons:

  • Prior to applying other forms of treatment such as salicylic acid. By reducing any overlying build-up of skin, the acid based treatment can penetrate the affected tissues more easily and with greater success
  • Debriding helps to remove any tissue that has been destroyed by acid treatments allowing further treatment to penetrate deeper into the lesion
  • If a verruca is surrounded by callus, the increased pressure can cause discomfort and therefore reducing this callus can help to provide relief from painful symptoms
  • Debriding the verruca so as to cause pinpoint bleeding which can work to stimulate the body's immune response to fight off the virus.

What are the benefits of debridement?

Debriding a verruca has the following benefits as a form of treatment;

  • It is usually a totally painless procedure
  • There is no risk of damaging the surrounding healthy tissues
  • Is a safer option for more at risk patients such as people with diabetes
  • It can be carried out in clinic
  • It does not require the use of local anaesthetic

Similar treatments/Services that could help

There are other verruca treatments available which may be offered depending on the outcome of a patient assessment. As with any verruca treatment intervention, nothing is 100% guaranteed to be effective, some treatments may work for some but not others. These alternative treatments include;

  • Watch and wait: if you have a verruca that is not painful, there is a chance the body kills the virus on its own. In the mean-time, your podiatrist can remove the overlying surface of the verruca. Sometimes the verruca may bleed during this, this is quite normal; it is due to the blood vessels (which appear as black dots) within the verruca bursting.
  • Salicylic acid (available at all our clinics)
  • Needling (check with the office if this is available if interested)
  • SWIFT Microwave Treatment for Verruca (check with the office if this is available if interested)
  • Verrutop (available at all our clinics)
  • Debridement (available at all our clinics)
  • Occlusion
  • Surgical removal (with a surgeon)

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