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Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy refers to a treatment in which surface skin lesions are frozen with liquid nitrogen that has a temperature of –196°C to induce "frostbite" destroying any benign and some malignant lesions on the skin.  It can be used to remove lesions such as seborrheic keratoses, skin tags, sun spots and warts among others.    It can also be helpful for treating pre-cancer lesions such as actinic keratoses (AK's).

GET THE FACTS

Cryotherapy involves the use of a cryospray canister device that pressurizes liquid nitrogen to destroy a benign lesion on the skin by causing "frostbite". The nitrogen is applied to the skin lesion for a few seconds or longer, depending on the type of lesion and the diameter and the depth of freeze. The treatment is repeated in some cases, once thawing has completed.  The areas frozen will sting during treatment and for about 10-15mins after the treatment.  They will then blister within a few hours and scab over the next few days and then fall off.   Patients should apply vaseline or polysporin to the sites afterwards until fully healed.  Occasionally it can leave an area of hypopigmentation so should not be used on tanned or darker skin types.

BENEFITS

•    Quick and easy way to superficially destroy benign lesions 

 

•    Works well for many benign lesions including:

  • Seborrheic keratoses (age spots)

  • Skin tags

  • Solar lentigos (sun spots)

  • Warts

  • Actinic keratoses (pre-cancer spots)

•    Majority of lesions heal without any previous evidence that they were present.

DOWNTIME

Stinging, redness and blistering right after treatment lasting 24-72 hours then another 1-3 weeks of healing

RESULTS IN

1-3 weeks

TREATMENTS NEEDED

Some benign growths resolve with one treatment, others need to be treated a few times.