Swift Microwave Therapy Your Warts Away
Swift Microwave Therapy is now Available at New Step Podiatry for those in Belconnen, Canberra and Surrounds
What is a wart?
Plantar warts are small, rough lesions on the bottoms of your feet, often with callous grown over the top. They often have little black dots in the centre which are small blood capillaries. Warts can be painful to walk on and can feel like standing on a pebble or small object, particularly if the wart is on a high weight-bearing area e.g. the heel or ball of the foot.
What is the difference between warts, plantar warts, verruca/verrucae and papilloma ?
All these terms basically mean the same thing.
A plantar wart refers to a wart that grows on the plantar (sole) aspect of a foot
A verruca is the more fancy sounding / medical term for wart
Verrucae or verrucas are the plural terms for verruca
A papilloma is a noncancerous, outward-growth lump on the skin. Warts and skin tags are types of papilloma.
What causes warts?
Warts are caused by a viral infection from certain strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV). There are over 100 strains of the HPV.
Warts are contagious. However, they aren’t highly contagious in comparison to droplet spread viruses such as Covid-19. Warts can be caught from skin-to-skin contact or indirectly from surfaces such as a shared floors, shoes, socks or swimming pool areas.
The virus finds it easier to infect skin that is moist, damaged or broken. This includes extremely dry and cracked feet, small cuts, wounds or other skin conditions that thins the protective skin barrier.
Why are they hard to get rid of?
Normally, the immune system detects the virus and releases antibodies to fight it. However, HPV proteins do not release viral proteins to circulating cells which makes it hard for the immune system to detect and fight off. Those who are immunosuppressed (older age, diabetics, pregnancy, peripheral arterial disease) will find it harder to get rid of a wart due to a less active immune system.
How to prevent warts
• Change shoes and socks daily
• Clean the shower floor regularly to prevent cross-contamination between members of the household
• Wear thongs or slippers in public areas e.g. swimming pools, public showers, hotel rooms
• Check feet regularly for any lumps or bumps
There are different ways to eliminate warts
The main goal of wart treatment is to alert the immune system to the viral infection so it can start to fight the virus. This can be achieved through:
• Manually removing wart tissue and regular application of a strong chemical (e.g. salicylic acid, silver nitrate, monochloroacetic acid) to the area.
• Manually removing wart tissue and applying cryotherapy to the area.
• Wart curettage procedure. This involves numbing the surgical site, then cutting into the wart and scooping out the remaining wart tissue. A strong acid like phenol can be used to cauterise the site.
• Oral immune therapy, which can help to boost the body’s overall immune response.
• Swift wart microwave therapy. Microwave energy is applied to the tissue to evoke a ‘heat response’ which triggers a release of proteins to tell the immune system there is a threat it needs to fight.
Your podiatrist is happy to discuss which options are more suitable for you. Most of the traditional wart treatments can take longer until the wart is resolved and need to be self-treated and dressed consistently at home. This may not be suitable for those who cannot get down to reach their feet and can be frustrating especially if treatment has been applied for months with no resolution. Swift wart microwave therapy eliminates these frustrations and is a low maintenance and easy way to treat warts.
wart tissue surrounded by healthy skin and hair
Frequently Asked Questions About Swift Microwave Wart Therapy
How successful is treatment?
Swift therapy has an 83% success rate; higher than any other wart treatment. This statistic is based on data collected and analysed from post market surveillance July 2017 of trained Swift users.
How many treatments do I need?
The number of treatments you will need depends on how well you respond. Most people require up to 3 treatments, spread 1 month apart. A follow up is usually conducted 3 months after the last treatment to ensure your warts have resolved. An additional treatment may be required.
What should I expect in my treatment?
Your podiatrist will identify any warts and assess if you are a suitable candidate for Swift wart therapy. You should stop using home wart remedies approximately one week before treatment. Excessive thick skin covering the wart may be removed. Swift microwave therapy will then be applied to the surface of the wart in short, two second bursts. It is unlikely you will see any significant changes in the wart immediately after treatment. It may take weeks to a month to notice changes in its appearance.
Is it painful?
Treatment is only administered in multiple applications for two second bursts. You may experience discomfort as the wart will be heated up to 42-45°C for a brief period. This temperature range is not enough to cause any serious tissue damage or scarring. Any discomfort should subside after the probe leaves the skin.
After treatment, the area may feel sore but should not stop you from doing normal activities. The area should not require any dressing or re-dressing at home.
Is it safe?
Swift therapy uses low energy microwaves to target the wart tissue. Microwave therapy is a form of non-ionising radiation, which means it is not harmful to the DNA of living things. The energy emitted from Swift is slightly higher than that of a mobile phone and significantly lower than that of a microwave oven.
Most of the general population can receive Swift treatment. Please let your podiatrist know if you have any medical conditions so they can determine if it is suitable for you.
How many treatments are needed?
The number of treatments needed depends on how well you respond. Most people require up to three treatments, spread one month apart. You do not need to treat the wart at home. A follow up is usually conducted three months after the last treatment to ensure your warts have resolved.
How long until I see results?
This is again dependent on many factors. On average it takes 80 days for the wart to resolve, but it is hard to determine exactly how quickly your immune system will respond to treatment. The time it takes for your wart to resolve is dependent on your age, overall health, how long you have had the wart for, and the type of HPV infection you have.
You may not see any major changes in the wart immediately after treatment. It can take a week or months before noticing any transformation. The wart may start to look larger or small black dots can appear after treatment. This is a good sign that the wart is responding to treatment – it resolves from the base of the lesion and not the surface. It is normal for warts to look worse before they start to get better.
Can I resume sporting activity in between appointments?
Yes, any discomfort you feel should not last after your appointment. It is safe to weight-bear on the area or get the area wet as no dressings are required after treatment. In some cases, a small, superficial blister may appear. Please contact your podiatrist if this happens
Book an Appointment at Our Canberra Clinic to Assess and Treat Your Plantar Wart
Our podiatrists are here to ensure those in Canberra have access to quality services that can help individuals get the treatment they deserve. Easily book an appointment at our clinic online or give us a call on 02 6198 4818.