Cryotherapy is medical non-surgical treatment involving the removal of skin lesions by using liquid nitrogen to freeze the skin cells until they die. The freezing treatment normally involves 5-10 seconds of the liquid spray being applied with a break of 1-2 minutes between treatment cycles. The duration and number of treatment cycles depend on the skin type and the nature of the problem.

Cryotherapy can be used to treat a wide variety of superficial benign lesions, however, freezing is best suited for:

  • removing viral warts
  • actinic keratosis (an area of sun-damaged skin found predominantly on sun-exposed parts of the body) 
  • seborrheic keratosis and other benign lesions
  • small skin cancers such as Bowen’s disease and basal cell carcinomas

Cryotherapy is very quick and straightforward procedure performed as an outpatient treatment and involves liquid nitrogen applied to the skin with a spray gun or cotton bud.  The procedure is very quick, depending on the thickness and size of the lesion. There is a slight burning sensation during the procedure but this stops once the treatment has ended. The frozen skin becomes white and takes one to two minutes to thaw to normal skin temperature - your doctor may suggest this is repeated once the skin has thawed out. Over the days following treatment, a scab will form, this will take a couple of weeks to fall off – this process cannot be hurried.  Depending on the response of the tissue treated, follow up sessions may be required

All Cryotherapy treatments are done by a Dermatologist as this is a medical treatment and without expert care can cause problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cryotherapy is medical non-surgical treatment involving the removal of skin lesions via a freezing method using an agent such as liquid nitrogen.Depending on the nature of your lesion, cryotherapy may be the most effective least invasive treatment for you - liquid nitrogen can be used to treat a wide variety of superficial benign lesions, however, freezing is best suited for removing viral warts, actinic keratosis (an area of sun-damaged skin found predominantly on sun-exposed parts of the body), seborrhoeic keratosis and other benign lesions.

Cryotherapy is very quick and straightforward procedure performed as an outpatient treatment and involves liquid nitrogen applied to the skin with a spray gun or cotton bud. The procedure is very quick, depending on the thickness and size of the lesion. The frozen skin becomes white and takes one to two minutes to thaw to normal skin temperature - your doctor may suggest this is repeated once the skin has thawed out.Over the days following treatment, a scab will form, this will take a couple of weeks to fall off – this process cannot be hurried. Depending on the response of the tissue treated, follow up sessions may be required

Cryotherapy is usually a well-tolerated treatment, but can sometimes cause discomfort if a deep freeze is necessary. This discomfort can occur during and after the treatment and may require painkillers for the first 24 hours to relieve this, or, you may opt to have a local anaesthetic applied beforehand. Redness and blistering may occur, and it's important to take care of the wound to avoid infection – you would be advised by your consultant exactly how best to do this - It is important to keep the area as dry as possible anda dressing or plaster may be applied if the treated area is likely to be knocked or rubbed by clothing. It is also crucial not to pick the scab as this may cause scarring.

Cryotherapy treatments are dependent on the number of lesions/size of the area to be treated, but prices typically start from £100 per area. 

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