Most of us will meet the HPV virus at some point, in the form of a wart on the hand or a verruca on the foot. This irritating virus cause disruption to our skin cells and surrounding blood vessels, sometimes spreading rapidly to create a large "mosaic" of infected skin. If you are unlucky, your wart or verruca may be painful. In any case, it will be contagious - spreading to family members or friends sharing the same bathroom or swimming facilities.
Fortunately, help is at hand. We are very excited to introduce our new SWIFT machine to Greensteps Podiatry this November! SWIFT is a highly effective method of treating verrucas which uses microwave technology. A carefully controlled pulse of microwave energy is delivered to the infected area, travelling through the skin to act on the verruca below the skin as well as the surface. This is repeated up to 5 times during a session, targeting the infected cells without causing a break in the skin. Cleverest of all, microwave energy stimulates the body’s own immune cells to act on the virus over the following days and weeks.
A standard course of SWIFT treatment involves 3 sessions; each one 4 weeks apart, with a final review after 12 weeks. Recent research has shown excellent results. No dressings are needed and you can bath, shower and swim during the course of treatment.
SWIFT is suitable for anyone over 12 years old. It is not suitable for anyone with metallic implants or a pacemaker. Diabetic patients should seek advice from their GP before embarking on a course of treatment.
Why should I go for SWIFT and not over the counter methods like Bazuka?
Recent research has shown a clearance rate of 83% of verrucas after the standard course of SWIFT treatment. This compares with 20-50% resolution with over-the-counter methods. Additionally, the filing associated with acid-based treatments has been known to spread the virus further. Messy dressings and soaking are also associated with them, whereas SWIFT is "clean" - no dressings are generally needed. Multiple applications of topical treatments sometimes result in scar tissue, which can be painful in its turn.
Will my doctor treat my verruca?
In some areas, the NHS has decided not to treat verrucas. In reality, most GPs refer verruca patients to their local pharmacy where a range of treatment methods are available over the counter.
Won't my verruca just go away on it's own?
There is some evidence that 3/10 verrucas will disappear on their own in 3 months or so. This is especially true in younger children whose immune systems tend to be more active and will respond faster to the virus. If you are willing to wait and see, remember to cover with a waterproof plaster to prevent cross infection or spreading. Those will any immuno-compromise may find that verrucas take longer to resolve. It is not uncommon to find patients who have suffered for more than 20 years with their condition unresolved. However, SWIFT will still work on long standing verrucas.
Is SWIFT painful?
As you may expect, some people find SWIFT to be mild to moderately painful. The sensation lasts only whilst the SWIFT applicator is applied to the skin - usually in 2 second bursts. This generally means most people can tolerate a course of treatment. People commonly tell us that the sensation is like passing your hand through a candle flame (not to be tried at home or on your verruca of course!!)
Is SWIFT treatment guaranteed to work?
Podiatrists will tell you that there is never a guarantee with the verruca virus. Success rates for treatment differ between individuals, with some working for some people and not for others. However, cryotherapy and salicylic acid-based methods struggle to reach 50% clearance rates whilst research on SWIFT has demonstrated an 80%+ clearance rate, even on stubborn and long-standing verrucas.
Who invented microwave treatment for verrucas and is it safe?
The SWIFT machine is manufactured by Scottish company Emblation. Emblation are pioneering the use of microwave technology in many areas, including cancer treatment and dermatology, including skin cancers. SWIFT was launched in 2016 and to date, more than 200,000 treatments have been carried out worldwide.
How do I book for SWIFT?
Call us on 01529 701415 to book an initial consultation or a FREE verruca check. The usual new patient fee (£70) is waived if you sign up for a course of SWIFT at the time of your first appointment.
What if I am still unsure whether SWIFT is right for me?
Please call us on 01529 701415 and book a free verruca check where we will discuss all options with you, including SWIFT. You can also download a leaflet with some further information on microwave treatment and its successes here or head over to treatwithswift.com to find out more about this ground-breaking device.
When you’re suffering from foot pain , it can be really frustrating not to know exactly what’s wrong. You may be surprised to know that’s sometimes true for your podiatrist too! We can take a careful history of the problem; (when it occurs, what it feels like, if it fades or gets worse etc). We can do a range of clinical tests to “stress” the area to see which bit hurts with certain movements. But we still can’t SEE inside and there are so many different elements in the foot. Starting with 26 bones (28 if you count sesamoids, 30 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments, all of which work together to provide support, balance and mobility. Add to that the knowledge that tendons are encased in sheaths (which can themselves be problematic) and the possibility that a bone spur or accessory bone can be causing the problem and it’s no wonder that many patients are left with that befuddled feeling as they try to understand what is wrong and why it happens!
So, enter the cavalry…diagnostic ultrasound! This clever technology when put in the hands of a skilled and trained operator can show a “live” scan picture of soft tissue (tendons, muscles) and bone which can be interpreted to give valuable extra information to diagnose your foot pain accurately. When reported to your podiatrist, who adds it to their own clinical history and tests, significant advantages can be gained in designing your treatment programme to work effectively. This can be in the form of advice on continuing, or temporarily pausing sporting activity; prescribing an orthotic to relieve the painful structures or a programme of exercises to rehabilitate the damaged areas. Occasionally , it can highlight more serious conditions which can then be referred in to your primary health provider.
Interested in finding out more? Greensteps Podiatry is pleased to offer a monthly clinic run by experienced sonographer Spencer Laver of LCL Ultrasound. Spencer will scan and report findings directly to you with an email report on the day. Single or double area scan with report ONLY £99 BOOK now - call Greensteps Podiatry on 01529 701415 or email us at email@example.com. Ultrasound clinics are available on selected Wednesday afternoons each month.
Introducing the Greensteps Diabetic Footcare Package
Accessing regular, well-informed and affordable footcare is vital when you have diabetes. NHS Podiatry Services are available to diabetic patients who are considered high risk (ie have had a current or previous ulceration). If you do not qualify for regular NHS care, you may like to take advantage of our Diabetic Footcare Package which allows you to split the costs of your regular footcare over a 12 month period and provides you with priority access should you need an urgent appointment.
By splitting the cost over 12 months, you can stay in control of your regular costs and minimise the chances of any untoward problems happening. You can also benefit from the additional extras we offer such as a FREE extended annual diabetic foot health check with enhanced assessments and discount on footcare products.
How Does it Work?
Paid as a monthly direct debit of £28, your annual package covers you for 9 standard appointments* over a 12 month period plus one extended annual diabetic foot health check with enhanced assessments. (Additional appointments required will be charged at the standard rate). You will get priority access to a fully qualified podiatrist should you have an urgent issue in between your regular appointments.
*Terms & Conditions apply – ask us for details. The usual cost of nine appointments over a year is £360. You pay £336 over 12 months on the Greensteps Diabetic Footcare package, saving you money and ensuring you receive the benefits of regular footcare.
Should you encounter an unexpected problem in between your regular appointments, call us and you will be seen on the next day that the clinic is open.
What are the Benefits?
More frequent footcare can lower your risk of serious problems which occur with Diabetes and your general foot health and comfort improves. Regular footcare reaps dividends in terms of better skin quality, healthier nails and the ability to spot problems such as early signs of skin breakdown to reduce your overall risks of complications. Benefit from our expertise and advice on footwear, gait problems and prevention and treatment of corns, calluses and ingrowing nails.
You will also receive 10% discount on a range of footcare products bought from us*.
How do I sign up?
Call us on 01529 701415 and ask us to send you further details or book your first appointment, citing Greensteps Diabetic Footcare Package. We will then send you a link to our payment partner to set up your direct debit. Your package will start from the date of your next appointment as soon as your payment plan is approved. New patients must have an initial new patient appointment with the package starting from the second appointment.
Register for the Greensteps Diabetic footcare package in May/June 2022 and get a FREE 50g Simplyfeet Heel Balm.