Cryotherapy involves the destruction of tissues by extreme cold (- 196°c) using liquid nitrogen as the selected cryogen. The skin lesion being treated is specifically targeted while the surrounding normal skin is protected. Skin lesions suitable for freezing include the following:
Viral warts are commonly seen in young children and occasionally adults. Cryotherapy is used to eradicate viral warts. However, large, longstanding warts may require several treatments at 2-3 week intervals.
This is a common pox virus skin infection seen in young children, especially children suffering from eczema. Floid molluscum contagiosum can be seen in immuno-compromised or immuno-deficient adults. Lesions are typically small white round papules and generally resolve completely within two years. Cryotherapy is a simple method of treating molluscum.
These are benign, wart-like superficial lesions that respond well to cryoptherapy.
Pedunculated seborrhoeic warts or simple skin polyps can be permanently treated using cryotherapy and the procedure is quick and generally painless.
Dysplastic and Pre-cancerous lesions including sun spots (solar keratosis)
In their early, superficial stage they can be safely and effectively treated using cryotherapy.
Bowens’s Disease (Intraepidermal Carcinoma)
After confirmation using an incisional biopsy of the lesion, cryotherapy can be used, safely and effectively, to treat the lesion. Regular follow up is necessary as progression to an invasive squamous carcinoma may occur.
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