Cryotherapy refers to a treatment in which surface skin lesions are treated with liquid nitrogen.
Lesions commonly treated by dermatologists:
- Actinic keratoses
- Viral warts
- Seborrhoeic keratoses
- Small superficial skin cancers with careful follow-up
Liquid nitrogen is sprayed onto the skin lesion for a few seconds. It is slightly painful. The treated area will form a blister within a few hours. Within a few days a scab forms and the blister dries up. Vaseline should be applied. The area may be gently washed and should be kept clean. A dressing is applied only to protect from trauma or friction.
Problems associated with cryotherapy
- Delayed healing and ulceration
- Permanent hypopigmentation
- Lesions often need follow-up treatment