Needling for verruca is a relatively simple procedure and has been used for over 40 years. First described in 1966 by Gordon Falknor, an American podiatrist.
The verruca is essentially a collection of skin cells infected by the verruca virus. These infected cells live in the outer layers of the skin, and avoid detection by the body's immune system; this explains why verrucae can be so resilient.
The needling procedure is carried out painlessly, under local anaesthetic which is used to numb the affected area. Once both the patient and the podiatrist are happy the area is sufficiently pain free a needle is used to cause repeated trauma to the verruca.
The aim of this is to implant the virally infected cells deeper in to the tissue where it is quickly detected by the immune system and a local immune response is stimulated. In the case of multiple verrucae, only one lesion needs to be treated (the original lesion) which may then result in the spontaneous resolution of all verrucae ('satellite' lesions) due to the systemic nature of the body's immune response. Unlike treatments using acids, needling usually only requires a single application, but in some cases further treatment is necessary. Post-operatively the lesion has the appearance of a dry blood blister and most patients experience little, if any, discomfort.
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