SWIFT Plantar Wart Treatment Kensington
Brunswick Foot Clinic offers quality orthotics & podiatric care to residents of and visitors to Kensington and beyond.
What is SWIFT?
SWIFT Thermotherapy is new technology for the general treatment of skin lesions in podiatry and dermatology. SWIFT was developed in the UK and has been approved for use in the EU, Canada and in Australia. Its approval for use in the USA is understood to be due soon. SWIFT therapy treatment uses microwave energy which is delivered through a probe applied to the skin to treat the affected tissue.
The microwaves generated by the SWIFT machine excite the water molecules and cause friction. This friction heats up the skin cells to 42-45 C° which puts the virally infected cells of the plantar wart into a state of stress. The stressed cells release “danger signaling” heat shock proteins which induces maturation of Langerhans cells and enhances their migration to the lymph nodes. Cytotoxic T cells migrate to the epidermis and begin to destroy all virally infected cells (Ardern-Jones, M., et al. (2016)).
How does it feel?
When you present for treatment with SWIFT, the overlying thick skin (callus) will be reduced (debrided) using a scalpel. A photograph will be taken using a digital microscope to help track the progress of the treatment. Treatment is administered in 3 to 5, 2 second bursts at each treatment site. Like many treatments for skin lesions, mild discomfort may be experienced. Whilst pain levels vary from person to person, most people undergoing SWIFT liken it to the pain of a small but hot injection, lasting for no more than 3 seconds.
The pain then quickly subsides. At 45 C deg you will not suffer any burns but pain receptors will be activated. This is why the pain disappears so quickly. It is rare for there to be any more than a slight redness and warmth at the treament site. Only in rare cases is there any prolonged pain. A post-procedural dressing is rarely necessary.
How many treatments are required?
Treatments are usually stagnated over a 3 month period with each treatment 4 weeks apart. Like the first visit, the wart will be debrided, photographed and treated with SWIFT every time. Compared with traditional treatments such as chemicals, acids or freezing, the risk of adverse events such as blistering, bruising and post treatment pain are significantly reduced using SWIFT. It is however noteworthy that these reactions may occur in some patients, but this is rare. Unlike some traditional treatments, SWIFT wart treatments are safe to use on breastfeeding patients.
Where and when can I book for SWIFT microwave thermotherapy?
SWIFT is available every business day at the Brunswick Foot Clinic but is currently only available every 4th Saturday at the Sandringham Foot Clinic.