What is Cryotherapy? 

Cryotherapy, which literally means 'cold therapy', is a non-surgical technique that employs liquid nitrogen to remove skin lesions by freezing the skin cells until they die and fall off.

The freezing treatment normally involves 5-10 seconds of the liquid spray being applied locally to the target area, with a break between treatment cycles. The duration and number of treatment cycles depend on the skin type and the nature of the problem.

Over the days following treatment, a scab will form which 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.

What skin conditions can Cryotherapy treat?

Cryotherapy can be used to treat a wide variety of superficial benign lesions.

However, it is best suited for treating the following conditions.

  • Viral Warts
  • Actinic Keratosis
  • Seborrhaic Keratosis
  • Bowen’s Disease
  • Basal Cell Carcinomas

A viral wart is a common skin growth caused by an infection with HPV (human papillomavirus). These are very common in school-aged children, people with suppressed immune systems and people with eczema; although they can appear at any age, on anyone. HPV is spread by direct contact with the skin or through autoinoculation. 

There are several types of viral warts, including the common wart (regularly found on fingers ), plantar warts (found on the sole of the  foot and toes), plane warts (found on face, hands and shins), filiform warts (found on the face ), and mucosal warts (found on lips and inside of cheeks). 

Actinic Keratosis is a scaly spot found on sun-damaged skin. This is caused by abnormal skin cell development due to damage from ultraviolet rays. These spots are most commonly found on areas of the skin that are repeatedly exposed to the sun. Typical areas are on the backs of hands, top of feet, balding head,  face, ears, temples and forehead. 

Actinic Keratoses are usually pink scaly patches, though can be white and thicker. There is a small chance that this condition can develop into squamous cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer, and it is best to have this treated to be safe and prevent progression.

Seborrheic keratosis is the most common non-cancerous skin growth in older adults. It appears as a light tan, brown or black growth on face, chest or back areas. The growth will be slightly raised up off the skin and have a scaly, crusty or waxy texture. They are normally round or oval-shaped. 

Seborrheic keratosis does not develop into skin cancer, and most remain asymptomatic. You may want to have them removed for cosmetic reasons, or if they are uncomfortable and causing symptoms such as by catching on clothing.

Bowen’s disease is a form of skin cancer confined within the superficial layers of skin.  Typically it is found as a red coloured plaque which can be crusty or scaly on sun-exposed areas. It is most prevalent in people age 60+, although can be found in some rare cases at age 30+. 

It is a form of squamous cell carcinoma and freezing is an effective treatment method for it.

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer, with more than 4 million cases reported in the UK every year. The abnormal cells arise in the basal cells of the skin and can appear as pink slightly scaly patches or skin coloured pearly papules which may ulcerate and don’t heal. 

This type of skin cancer has a high cure rate and doesn’t spread to other areas of the body. However, if they are left untreated, they grow slowly and cause damage to adjacent skin structures causing disfigurement. They also grow slowly spreading locally into blood vessels and nerves.

How does Cryotherapy work?

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.

What are the benefits of Cryotherapy treatment?

The benefits of treatment for Cryotherapy include:

  • Quick 10m treatment
  • Highly effective removal of skin lesions 
  • No scars or anaesthetic required 
  • Improved self confidence and self-esteem

Who will carry out my Cryotherapy treatment?

All Cryotherapy treatments at the Cadogan Clinic are carried out by a highly trained specialist Dermatologist as this is a medical treatment which needs to be performed by an expert to avoid complications.

What to expect during your Cryotherapy consultation at the Cadogan Clinic?

You will meet with one of our highly trained dermatologists at the Cadogan Clinic on Sloane Street, Chelsea for an in-person assessment of your skin.

Your consultant will discuss the following with you at this consultation:

  • The best options for treatment for you given your skin condition, and the results that you would likely achieve with Cryotherapy treatment
  • An explanation of the treatment or treatment plan 
  • Go through your past medical history
  • Answer any questions you may have

3 Easy Steps

  • Visit the Clinic on Sloane Street, Chelsea for your in-person consultation with one of our dermatologists 
  • Start your treatment plan 
  • Return to the Clinic to see your dermatologist - if required - to monitor the progress of treatment 

Why choose the Cadogan Clinic for your Cryotherapy treatment?

  • We remove thousands of benign skin lesions each year with Cryotherapy
  • Our team of 9 highly experienced specialist dermatologists have been handpicked to form one of the best independent dermatology units in the country
  • Our purpose build dermatology clinic is conveniently located off Sloane Square  

Frequently Asked Questions

Liquid nitrogen is the liquid state of the gas nitrogen that occupies 78% of the air we breathe. Liquid nitrogen is extremely cold, having a boiling point of minus 196°cm.

It is easily stored and transported in special flasks, making it a highly effective locally applied freezing agent for medical treatments based on cold therapy.

Cryotherapy is usually a very 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.

Risks are minimal with Cryotherapy treatment. Side effects can include residual pain, swelling and redness, blistering, and infection.

It is important to keep the area as dry as possible and a 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 treatment starts from £90

Yes. Once a lesion has been removed from the surface of the skin, it will not reappear.

Lesions may appear elsewhere on the skin, however.

The Cadogan Clinic is based at 120 Sloane Street in Chelsea, just off Sloane Square and the Kings Road.

Our address is 120 Sloane Street, Chelsea, London, SW1X 9BW.

We are accessible by all major bus routes that pass through Sloane Square and Sloane Street, as well as Sloane Square tube station.

Local pay parking is available just around the corner from the Clinic on Cadogan Gate, Cadogan Square and Cadogan Gardens. Our local residential parking zone is the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.

How to find us

The Cadogan Clinic is based at 120 Sloane Street in Chelsea, just off Sloane Square and the Kings Road.

We are accessible by all major bus routes that pass through Sloane Square and Sloane Street, as well as Sloane Square tube station.

We are just a 5 minute walk northwards up Sloane Street once you have arrived at Sloane Square.

Local pay parking is available just around the corner from the Clinic on Cadogan Gate, Cadogan Square and Cadogan Gardens. Our local residential parking zone is the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.

Address: 120 Sloane Street, Chelsea, London, SW1X 9BW

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