wartsPlantar warts are warts that are only found on the feet, hence the term “plantar”, which means “relating to the foot.” They are caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV, and occur when this virus gets into open wounds on the feet. The warts themselves are hard bumps on the foot and easily recognizable, mostly found on the heels or ball of the foot. For the most part, plantar warts are non-malignant, but they can cause some pain, discomfort, and are often unsightly, so removing them is often the first step taken.

Plantar warts can cause some pain while standing, sometimes felt as tenderness on the sole of your foot. Unless the wart has grown into the foot behind a callus, you will be able to see the fleshy wart. Because plantar warts are not cancerous or dangerous, a podiatrist should only be consulted if there is an excess amount of pain associated with having them, if they are affecting your walking, or if they continually come back. However, anyone who suffers from diabetes or a compromised immune system disease should seek out care immediately.

Podiatrists are easily able to diagnose plantar warts. They usually scrape off a tiny bit of the rough skin in order to make tiny blood clots visible and show the inside of these warts. However, a biopsy can be done if the doctor is not able to diagnose them from simply looking at them. For a less invasive treatment option, topical creams can be used through a doctor’s prescription, which may help given enough time and patience. Keep the wart covered for protection in between daily treatments.

The best way to avoid developing plantar warts is to avoid walking barefoot in public places, especially when you have open sores or cuts on your feet. It is also important to avoid direct contact with any other warts you might have or warts other people might have, as they are highly contagious.

Swift Microwave Therapy System For Warts

Serving Amherst, North Tonawanda, Lewiston, NY & Beyond

Patients suffering from plantar warts may be able to find relief with Swift, the pioneering new microwave therapy device for skin. Plantar warts have long been a frustrating condition for both the patient and the clinician. We are extremely pleased to announce that we will be one of the first clinics in the United States to offer this innovative technology.

Unlike historically ineffective destructive methods (cryotherapy, salicylic acid, surgical excision, etc.), Swift targets the root cause of the wart, the HPV virus. Microwave energy is introduced into the skin, heating the cells. This heat initiates a response which allows the body to detect and attack the HPV virus, ridding the body of this painful condition.

Treatment protocol includes an average of 3-4 visits, with each treatment lasting only 5-10 minutes.  There is no need for local anesthetic, site preparation is minimal and there is no need for post-procedural dressings.  Patients are back on their feet immediately following the procedure and can continue on with daily life.   Visits are spaced 4 weeks apart to coincide with the body’s immune cycle, with follow up scheduled for 12 weeks following the final treatment. Complete resolution is aligned with the strength of the patient’s immune response, with younger patients seeing typically faster resolution and elderly patients with more recalcitrant warts sometimes requiring additional treatment. 

Below is a quick summary of the outcomes Swift has delivered to the near 40,000 patients that have been treated in the United Kingdom:

  • 98% of patients continue daily tasks as normal following Swift Treatment
  • 70% of patients rated the treatment a 10/10
  • 95% of patients would recommend Swift Treatment to a friend

Having received FDA Clearance in November 2018, Swift is now available in the United States and we are thrilled to be among the first adopters. If you are someone you know has been dealing with plantar warts, you know how painful and frustrating this condition can be.  We now have an answer and look forward to helping all those in need.  If you think you could benefit from Swift Treatment, please give our office a call.  We look forward to seeing you!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Swift?

Swift techSwift is the pioneering new microwave therapy device for skin. Plantar warts have long been a frustrating condition, and finally, there is an answer! Unlike other destructive treatment methods, Swift targets the root cause of the wart/verruca, the human papillomavirus (HPV). Microwave energy is introduced into the skin, heating cells to between 36 and 43 degrees Celsius. This heat initiates an immune cascade which allows the body to detect and attack the HPV virus, ridding the patient of this painful condition.

How does the treatment work? 

Treatment protocol includes an average of 3-4 visits with each treatment lasting only 5-10 minutes. During each treatment, you will receive multiple 2 second doses of microwave energy; total dosage will vary based on the size and age of the lesion. Visits are spaced 4 weeks apart to coincide with the body’s immune cycle, with follow up scheduled for 12 weeks following the final treatment. Complete resolution is aligned with the strength of you body’s immune response.

What should I expect? 

Swift is the quick and clean new treatment for skin. Unlike cryotherapy, salicylic acid and laser, Swift does not break the surface of the skin and eliminates the need for bandages or dressings – leaving you to carry on your day as normal.

Does it hurt? 

Like many treatments for skin lesions, some minor discomfort may be experienced. Pain levels vary from person to person but most people undergoing Swift feel a minor burning sensation lasting 2 – 3 seconds then quickly subsiding. There is no anesthesia/injection needed!

Who can benefit from Swift verruca treatment? 

Almost anyone who has stubborn warts and verrucas can benefit from Swift. There are contra-indications to Swift but outside these anyone who has warts/verrucas on their hands or feet can benefit.

Precautions: If any of the following apply to you, speak to your Podiatrist before treatment – 
- Metal pins, plates or replacement joints in the foot or ankle 
- Pacemaker 
- Neuropathy or poor peripheral circulation 
- Poor or limited healing capacity 
- Immune suppression 
- Pregnancy or breast feeding. It is known that verrucas and warts can increase in size during this period 
- Low pain threshold 
- Young children – treatment on children under ten years old may not be appropriate for a number of reasons which one of our Podiatrists will discuss with you during your consultation.

Can anyone have Swift verruca treatment? 

With a few exceptions, (see above) most people with verrucas and warts should be able to have this treatment. Your Podiatrist will carry out assessment prior to treatment and advise you accordingly. Swift is suitable for most people with few exceptions, although the purpose and reason for a consultation prior to treatment is to identify anyone for who it may not be appropriate. One of our Podiatrists will discuss any concerns with you.

What will the wart/verruca look like after it has been treated and how quickly will it work? 

Immediately after the treatment there will be no change to the appearance of the wart/verruca. A change should start to show after a few days. Swift works by prompting an immune response and time is needed for the process to gather pace. That is why there is a gap of at least two weeks between treatments. 

As regression is established the verruca will shrink in from the edges at the same time as reducing in thickness – or ‘debulking’. The dermal ridges or ‘fingerprint’ of the underlying tissue will gradually re-establish itself as the verruca resolves. 

A follow up visit will allow one of our Podiatrists to evaluate any changes and make a decision on whether or not you require another Swift application.

How many Swift verruca treatments will I need?

This depends on how you respond to treatment. Some resolve within three treatments but more may be needed particularly with large or multiple lesions. These can be from 14 days to over a month apart depending on progress. Your Podiatrist will discuss this with you.

When the virus enters the skin, some people’s immune systems immediately respond by producing antibodies and killing it dead. Others don’t and a verruca forms. However, the necessary immune response can still happen at any time, and, days, weeks, months or years later, the verruca can suddenly disappear. 

This is why your GP will tell you to leave it alone and it will go away in time. Having a verruca does not mean there is anything wrong with your immune system. Swift is designed to prompt that local immune response for the body to heal itself. Swift treatment results in a degree of localized tissue damage prompting a healing response part of which is antibody recruitment. 

It is also thought to stimulate heat stress protein production which is known to prompt a strong healing response. Patients who are immune-suppressed are at risk of developing multiple, resistant lesions, which are difficult to treat.

What can I do after Swift verruca treatment? 

Normally any pain or discomfort ends as soon as the treatment is finished but it is possible there may be some minor discomfort. However one of the great things about Swift is there is no broken skin, also no dressings and no need to keep it dry. Therefore you can do anything you wish. Swim, shower, run, jump and play.

Does using swift verruca treatment mean that the verruca won’t come back? 

Once the wart/verruca has gone, it is usually gone for good. However, even though Swift works by prompting an immune response and production of the appropriate antibodies communicating a degree of immunity, there can never be a guarantee that you won’t catch another at some point in the future. 

If you would like more information on Swift in particular or verruca treatment options in general, speak with Dr. Zirna or to make an appointment. 


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