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     Cryofreezing

Cryofreezing

Cryotherapy refers to a treatment modality where surface skin lesions are destroyed by freezing them. The freezing agent or 'Cryogen' used in this process is Liquid Nitrogen.

Cryotherapy using liquid nitrogen reaches up to a temperature of -1960c. The nitrogen is applied to the skin lesion with the help of a cryospray for a few seconds, depending on the desired diameter and depth of freeze. The treatment is repeated in some cases, once thawing has completed.

The treated area is likely to blister within a few hours. Sometimes the blister is clear and sometimes it is red or purple because of bleeding (this is harmless). Treatment near the eye may result in a puffy eyelid, especially the following morning, but the swelling settles within a few days. Within a few days a scab forms and the blister gradually dries up.

Usually no special attention is needed during the healing phase. The treated area may be gently washed once or twice daily, and should be kept clean. A dressing is optional, but is advisable if the affected area is subject to trauma or clothes rub on it.

When the blister dries to a scab, apply petroleum jelly (Vaseline) and avoid picking at it. The scab peels off after 5-10 days on the face and 3 weeks on the hand.

Secondary infection is uncommon. When it occurs it may cause increased pain, swelling, thick yellow blister fluid, a purulent discharge and/or redness around the treated area.

After the procedure the skin appears entirely normal without the sign of skin lesion. However in certain cases cryotherapy may result in a white mark (hypopigmentation) or a scar, particularly when freezing has been deep or prolonged, as is required for a cancerous lesion or a thick genital wart. A white mark may sometimes follow a light freeze. The white mark may be quite noticeable especially in those with darker complexions. Although the appearance often improves with time, the colour change can rarely be permanent.

Lesions that can be treated with Cryofreezing include Molluscum, Viral Warts, Seborrhoeic keratosis, Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra (DPN)

         
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