Verrucae Treatment Frequently Asked Questions
Deep and selective Nd:YAG absorption induces coagulation of the blood vessels that feed the verruca/wart causing subsequent necrosis. Treatment is clean and fast, there are no dressings to worry about, and one’s everyday activities may proceed unhindered.
Does it hurt?
Pain, of course, is very subjective and tolerance levels of discomfort vary. Although the Nd:YAG laser is connected to a cooler which blows cold air onto the treatment area to make the process more comfortable, I recommend local anaesthesia when treating verrucae on the sole of the foot (plantar warts), or warts on hands. Laser treatment for verrucae in children is not recommended.
How many treatments will I need?
This is the most difficult question to answer. As a general rule it is hoped that lesions resolve between 1-3 treatments. Verrucae/warts in the heel are more resistant than on other areas of the foot and may require more sessions.
How will I feel after the anaesthetic wears off?
It’s not unusual for there to be some residual discomfort following laser treatment for verrucae/warts, especially on weight-bearing areas, but deflective padding will be applied to minimise discomfort.
Will I be able to drive home?
I’m afraid not. If your foot has been anaesthetised then your car insurance will be invalidated. The anaesthetic usually wears off after 2-3 hours. It is therefore a recommendation that you arrange for a relative or friend to drive you from the clinic, or take a taxi.
How long should I keep the padding on?
Try to keep padding in place for as long as it is doing its job.
Can I exercise or go swimming?
If you’re having laser treatment for verrucae/warts try to resist the urge to return to the pool in the first instance. Exercise should also be avoided for a few days, as should hot baths. Effectively the laser treatment works by coagulating the blood in the multitude of tiny blood vessels that feed the verruca/wart, and exercising merely increases the blood supply to the lesion.
What if I’ve got a large verruca?
The only issue here is that the bigger the verruca the greater the chance of tissue breakdown so it may be beneficial to treat one segment at a time.
What do you mean by “tissue breakdown”?
Although this is more likely to occur on the weight-bearing areas, tissue breakdown is a reaction of the skin to the treatment, and ulceration is a side-effect. Cryotherapy (freezing) and acid crystal (mono or trichloroacetic) treatment often leads to tissue breakdown too. Although this can happen most laser treatments don’t lead to ulceration.
Are there any contra-indications such as medication or pregnancy?
Good question. Yes, unfortunately there are contra-indications and these include pregnancy and Warfarin therapy.