Cryotherapy (Liquid Nitrogen)

Cryotherapy with Liquid Nitrogen
View larger image

Cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen to freeze skin lesions.

The liquid nitrogen is often applied with a "cryo gun" which sprays a thin cold mist onto the skin, resulting in a white, frost-like appearance on the surface of the skin. Cryotherapy may also be applied with a cotton-tipped swab or other methods.

The extremely cold temperature of liquid nitrogen kills the skin cells on the topmost layer . Cryotherapy may be mildly painful, particularly when applied to the face, but anesthesia is rarely if ever necessary.

A blister may form beneath the treated area, which helps to lift the lesion off the skin.

A bandage may be used to cover the blister and help prevent the area from becoming infected.

Cryotherapy is most commonly used for removing warts, seborrheic keratosis, actinic keratosis, and other benign lesions.

These skin conditions may be treated by combining cryotherapy with medications. For instance, actinic keratoses may be treated by combining cryotherapy with a topical AK medication (5-FU, imiquimod, or diclofenac). Warts may be treated by combining cryotherapy with salicylic acid or other wart treatments.


©2010 Vivacare. Last updated April 25, 2012.

All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited. You may not, except with our express written permission, distribute, reproduce, or commercially exploit the content.

This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your personal medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional.

Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns.

Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.

From Your Doctor service powered by Vivacare.

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.
View Content Policy