Cryotherapy is the use of liquid nitrogen, at a temperature of minus 196 degrees Celsius, to remove or ‘freeze’ small skin lesions that may be cancerous, such as basal cell or squamous cell carcinomas. Cryotherapy is a safe and reliable dermatological procedure, and has the advantage of being inexpensive compared to many other measures. Follow-up with the dermatologist is mandatory, as the cryotherapy as a keratoses-removal method sometimes requires more than one treatment. During the procedure, the nitrogen is applied directly to the skin lesion. Cryotherapy may sting or be a little uncomfortable during application and for a short period after the procedure. Immediate swelling and redness may occur. These effects can be treated with a topical steroid on a single occasion after freezing. Aspirin may also reduce the inflammation and discomfort.
NYDG FLASH FACTS
- Cryotherapy, or freezing, may be the most suitable way of removing potentially dangerous skin lesions. The most common lesions treated with cryotherapy are: solar keratoses, viral warts and Seborrheic keratoses. Also it can be one of the most effective treatments for mole removal in NYC, wart removal in NYC (including genital warts in NYC), and mole removal in New York.
- Cryotherapy is not used to treat melanoma or any pigmented lesion that could be melanoma.
- Always report suspicious skin lesions to the dermatologist. Lesions are suspect when they meet any of the following criteria:
A – Asymmetry. Two sides not alike
B – Border. Irregular, wavy or indistinct border
C – Color. Varied and inconsistent
D – Dimension. Change in size
E – Elevation. Raised above surface of surrounding skin