Cryotherapy is a procedure that uses extreme cold (liquid nitrogen) to freeze a skin lesion. The rapid freezing destroys the cells and the skin lesion is cured.
HOW IS CRYOTHERAPY BETTER THAN OTHER METHODS OF REMOVING SKIN LESIONS
Cryotherapy requires no anaesthesia and has less scarring than other techniques of skin lesion removal with minimum post-op care.
WHAT TYPE OF LESIONS ARE APPROPRIATE TO FREEZE?
Almost any unwanted skin lesions are appropriate, such as warts, moles, actinic keratosis, seborrheic keratosis, keloids, lentigos, dermatofibromas and hemangiomas to just name a few.
WHAT TYPES IF LESIONS ARE NOT APPROPRIATE TO FREEZE?
All malignant skin lesions – melanomas and recurrent basal cell carcinomas are contraindicated for cryotherapy
CAN I FREEZE ANYWHERE ON THE BODY?
Yes, but care should be taken for areas of very thin skin and areas in which colour may be cosmetically important.
HOW LONG DOES A SINGLE FREEZE TAKE?
Freeze times vary with the type of lesion and the area on the body, but for general purposes most lesions take about 20 to 30 seconds.
IS THE PROCEDURE PAINFUL?
There may be some stinging with the initial freezing but most patients get an anesthetic effect form the extreme cold. Some patients have some discomfort for the first day after the procedure.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER THE TREATMENT
A blister forms 2-24 hours after freeze. Blisters may take several days to drain or dissolve. Once a blister breaks, a crust will form over the lesion. Healing occurs from 1-6 weeks depending on depth of freeze and size of lesion.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
Some lesions are harder to remove than others. In more delicate places a shorter freeze time with repeat procedures may be required to get a final result with the least damage to the surrounding skin. In other instances a deep lesion may take several aggressive treatments to get a final result. In particular, warts that don’t have pre-treatment may take multiple freezes.
WILL THERE BE SCARRING?
Typically, Cryotherapy leaves the least amount of scarring of any form of lesion removal because it causes the least damage to the surrounding tissue. A hypopigmented lesion will be noted until this darkens with new tanning.