March 4th is international HPV awareness day, a virus that over 80% of people will be infected by at some point in their life. HPV infections come in many forms, with the most harmful types causing cervical cancer, among other deadly cancers.
One of the most common manifestations of the virus is warts and plantar warts, or verruca as they are more commonly known. Affecting approximately 10% of the population word wide, the NHS guidance for patients states that warts usually clear up without treatment within 2 years.
Unfortunately for many sufferers, this guidance over simplifies the condition. There are 150 genotypically different types of HPV, and 7 common strains that cause warts and verruca. Spontaneous resolution and response to treatment depends on many variables, including health, age, length of time the wart has been present, location on the body, and the type of HPV.
There is clinical evidence that shows the longer the infection has persisted, the poorer the cure rate. Verruca in particular are difficult to resolve. The statistics tell us that 42% of verruca will disappear within 6 months, but if the condition persists for longer than 6 months, the chances of the virus clearing up without treatment drops to just 8%. These patients can experience verruca for years and in some cases decades without resolution.
While warts and verruca are not life threatening, they do cause pain that can restrict activities, and they can spread across the hands, feet, and to other areas of the body. This leaves the many long-standing sufferers in the UK with limited options, particularly after the Scottish Government has stopped the use of liquid nitrogen, a common treatment for the condition, in GP clinics.
This is not without consideration, as clinical trials have shown liquid nitrogen to be a poor treatment for verruca patients, with one large UK study showing just 34% clearance after 6 months of treatment.
Private Podiatry (Chiropody) clinics across the UK are now taking referrals for both verruca on the feet and warts on the hands, with one new treatment in particular providing significant hope for these long-standing cases.
The Swift® treatment is a new microwave-based treatment developed in the UK that has shown significantly higher levels of effectiveness than any other treatment available (76% of the most stubborn cases treated successfully in 3 short sessions).
With 35,000 Swift treatments completed in just over 2 years, many of these difficult cases have now been eradicated with this therapeutic course – offering new hope to the thousands that have been suffering in silence.
Notes to Editors
Swift is a UK product developed by Emblation, a global leader in medical microwave technology with a focus on radical innovation in the treatment of HPV infections.
Established in the USA in 2007, the company relocated to Scotland the following year to continue research into novel microwave ablation products. The team is led by some of the world’s foremost medical microwave experts, with a wealth of experience in the design, development, and manufacture of microwave applications for a range of medical fields. Emblation is committed to providing next generation solutions for today’s medical conditions.