Cryotherapy literally means ‘treatment using low temperature’ and is an excellent technique for dealing with a variety of benign lesions as well as some small scale basal cell carcinoma. Usually utilising liquid nitrogen as the ‘cryogen’ (the freezing substance), the problem lesions will be subject to extreme cold. This destroys the skin tissue and stimulates the immune system – and in combination, these processes will help to clear the lesion and give you some medical peace of mind.
Cryotherapy at Skin Institute involves the following:
While liquid nitrogen is our usual cryogen, other substances may be employed in appropriate circumstances. Your specialist will discuss the best option for you. The cryogen will be applied with a spray-gun for most cases, but sometimes a cotton tip is used.
It will sting when applied, and painful blistering may develop within a few hours – but you will usually find that this will settle by itself and form a scab.
The healing time depends on where on your body the treatment has been performed – approximately 5 days for the face, 2–3 weeks on the trunk and up to 6 weeks on the lower legs.
While rigorously tested and very safe, there are always potentially complications, including scarring, infection or hypopigmentation (whitening) of the area we have treated. In some instances, the lesion may recur – in which case, further treatment will be required, either additional cryotherapy or one of our other treatment options.