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Needling can be an effective form of treatment used for persistent verrucae that have not responded to other forms of treatment.

What is needling?

Needling is a painless treatment which uses a sterile needle to produce localised trauma at the site of a stubborn, recurring verrucae. The treatment which is performed by a podiatrist under local anaesthetic is an alternative to other treatments such as cryotherapy which work by creating a chemical breakdown of local tissues.

What podiatry related conditions is needling used for?

Needling is mainly used in podiatry for the treatment of long-standing verrucae.

What does the needling procedure involve?

The following procedure will be followed during needling verrucae treatment;

  • The site is completely numbed prior to needling using three to four injections of local anaesthetic at that area
  • Once the area is numbed a sterile needle is used to repeatedly perforate the lesion, pushing the infected cells into a deeper layer of the skin
  • A dry dressing is applied at the site once the procedure is complete
  • Follow up appointments with the podiatrist will be made to check the remaining scab and provide any advice which may be required

How does needling work?

Needling works by causing what is known as a cell-mediated immune response at the affected area. Verrucae are formed as a result of the Human Papilloma Virus which infects the epidermis of the skin and therefore does not stimulate a systemic response from the body. Needling treatment pushes the viral cells into the dermal layer of the skin, triggering an immune response which targets the verrucae directly. The antibodies that are produced as a result of this mean that the lesion than begins to deteriorate and regress before eventually disappearing.

What are the benefits of needling?

The following are some of the advantages of receiving needling treatment;

  • As it is carried out under local anaesthetic, needling is a painless procedure
  • It allows for the remission of any long standing verrucae
  • Patients can carry out previously restricted activities such as swimming
  • The procedure can be carried out in clinic and does not require hospital admission
  • Prevents the spread of the virus to others

Similar treatments / services that could help?

Needling is most commonly used as a treatment for verrucae when other forms of treatment have failed. The following are some other verrucae treatments available;

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