Dry Needling for Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and are often transmitted in moist environments such as public swimming pools and showers. Individuals with compromised immune systems are at a higher risk of developing warts. While warts typically resolve on their own, many patients seek treatment for cosmetic reasons and to prevent their spread. Various treatment options are available, ranging from the least aggressive to the most aggressive, including silver nitrate, salicylic acid, immunomodulators, Canthacur-PS, liquid nitrogen, laser treatment, surgical excision, and Dry Needling for Plantar Warts.

Chiropodists offer several treatment options for plantar warts, and one lesser-known method is Dry Needling.

What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a technique used to stimulate an immune response for combatting plantar warts. Warts are typically located in the upper layers of the skin, making it challenging for the immune system to detect and fight the virus. The concept behind dry needling is to push the virus particles deeper into the body to trigger an immune response. This is achieved by using a fine needle to pierce the skin and force the infected tissue into the lower layers, where the immune system is more active, providing it with a better chance to target the affected area.

The resolution of the wart using dry needling typically takes approximately 2-4 months, with a success rate of around 90%. Dry needling is particularly effective in cases where the patient has multiple warts, as needling only one wart can lead to a response.

The procedure involves injecting local anesthesia around and beneath the wart to ensure the area is numb. Once the area is anesthetized, a needle is used to puncture the wart until it becomes actively bleeding and raw, usually around 100 times. After the bleeding has ceased, the area is covered with a gauze dressing. The patient can bear weight immediately, but they may experience some pain once the anesthesia wears off, lasting for a few days. Subsequently, the patient does not need to perform any self-care, but regular follow-up appointments are necessary to remove the overlying callus.

In most cases, a single round of dry needling treatment can resolve plantar warts. While some people may be concerned about the potential pain associated with dry needling for warts, it is generally considered a minor surgical procedure performed under local anesthesia, minimizing discomfort during the procedure. This method can be less painful and more effective for individuals with a single plantar wart or an expanding cluster of warts, helping them return to their regular activities more quickly.