What is Cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy is a procedure that uses extreme cold to destroy unwanted tissue – most unwanted skin lesions can be treated in this way, including warts, moles, skin tags and verrucas amongst others.
How does it Work?
Tissue cells are destroyed during the procedure when they are rapidly brought down to a low temperature forming ice crystals. The ice crystals break down the structure of the cell and water then fills the surrounding area creating a blister. Healing occurs within 2 to 6 weeks depending on the depth of the freeze.
Is it painful?
There may be some tingling with the initial freezing, but most patients get an anaesthetic effect from the extreme freezing temperatures. More of a pinching sensation occurs when the area thaws out. Some patients may have some discomfort the day after the first procedure but paracetamol or ibuprofen is usually adequate to alleviate this.
Will there be scarring?
Typically Cryotherapy leaves the least amount of scarring of any form of lesion removal because it causes the least damage to the connective tissue. The area of skin treated will appear lighter than the surrounding skin which usually darkens over time.
How many treatments are required?
For most conditions this treatment is a permanent removal. Some conditions are harder to remove than others, and in delicate areas a shorter freeze time with repeat procedures may be required to achieve a final result with the least damage to surrounding skin. In other cases, where the condition is deep (such as stubborn warts or verrucas) several aggressive treatments may be required to achieve total removal.
How long does a single freeze take?
Freeze time varies depending on the type of lesion. A typical freeze time is between 5 seconds for small flat warts to 120 seconds for a large full thickness lesion. For general purposes most lesions take about 30 seconds.