What is cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment that freezes skin-surface-level lesions using liquid nitrogen. A precise spray of liquid nitrogen (LN2) destroys the lesions and helps save areas around the lesion or growth to reduce scarring.
Did you know…
Cryotherapy has been in use much longer than many people realize. Ancient Egyptians used cold therapy to treat inflammation and injuries as early as 2500 BC. However, the process we know today dates back to the 19th century, with local cooling applications to treat advanced cancers and relieve pain for people with migraines or neuralgia.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are candidates for cryotherapy?
Ideal candidates for cryotherapy include those seeking to remove benign skin lesions, such as skin tags or warts. Cryotherapy is not recommended for those with darker skin tones, poorly vascularized lesions, and cold-related pathologies.
How is cryotherapy performed?
Cryotherapy freezes tissue, causing the cells within the area to die. Using a specialized spray bottle to hold liquid nitrogen, the provider will spray it directly to the concerned area. You may feel slight burning or pain from the freezing, but the symptoms usually subside right away. A few days after the treatment, the targeted lesion may fall off on its own.
What cosmetic concerns does cryotherapy treat?
While cryotherapy is primarily used for benign skin lesions and precancerous growths, birthmarks, moles, and viral warts can be treated as well.
What are the side effects of cryotherapy?
Potential side effects include blistering, swelling, redness, tissue granulation, hypopigmentation, bleeding, and blood vessel damage. If blisters develop, it’s important not to break open the blister to prevent the onset of infection. There may be clear drainage, which is normal during its healing process. If any of these side effects occur, contact your provider as soon as you can.
What does recovery time look like with cryotherapy?
Healing can take as long as ten days, and a follow-up appointment is necessary for post-treatment care. Post-instructions include:
- Washing the treated area with fragrance-free soap and water daily.
- Avoiding scented soaps and lotions.
- Leaving the treated area uncovered to prevent infection.
- Putting Vaseline or Aquaphor on the treated area daily for two weeks to prevent crusting.
If you have any skin lesions, moles, or warts that you would like to have removed, schedule an appointment at our office. Borealis Dermatology offers two convenient locations to provide various treatments for our patients in the Queens and Long Island areas. You can experience the highest medical and aesthetic expertise available through our treatment options by visiting our clinic.