East Central Indiana
01/17/2019

Cryosurgery

Cryosurgery

Cryosurgery (Liquid Nitrogen Treatment)

Liquid nitrogen is a cold, liquified gas with a temperature of 321 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. It is used to freeze and destroy superficial skin growths such as warts, pre-cancers, and keratoses. Liquid nitrogen causes stinging and mild pain while the area is being frozen and then thaws. The discomfort usually lasts less than 10 minutes.

Several hours after freezing, your skin will become swollen and red; later it may blister. Occasionally, some blood will leak into the blister causing it to turn black. This change is a normal process and is no cause for concern. A blister may form.  There is no need to break it unless it is uncomfortable. It is possible that red streaks may form. This reaction is from the liquid nitrogen and does not represent infection.  A scab may later form and will fall off by itself in 1 to 3 weeks. After that, the area may be pink for 1 to 4 months. Depending upon the amount of sun damage and color of the surrounding skin, the area may heal lighter than its previous color.

No special care is needed after liquid nitrogen treatment. Wash your skin as usual. If clothing irritates the area, cover it with a band-aid. You may apply cool tap water compresses or take Tylenol, aspirin or Ibuprofen for soreness. You may wear make-up if there are no open areas, crusts, or blisters. If a blister forms or the skin becomes raw, you should apply Vaseline or petroleum ointment to the area twice a day.

Please call our office and ask to speak with a nurse if you have any questions or problems.