Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy, also known as cryosugery, is the use of extreme cold to destroy abnormal or diseased tissue. Liquid nitrogen (-195o C) is used to freeze the tissue in question. Ice crystals form inside the cells causing their destruction. There is additional damage caused by the loss of blood supply to the target tissue secondary to freezing. Cryotherapy is quick and minimally invasive.

This simple procedure can provide effective treatment for:

  • Warts
  • Moles
  • Skin tags
  • Solar Lentigines
  • Actinic Keratosis
  • Shallow skin cancers

During the treatment, the area will be cleaned. Then a small, handheld canister will be used to apply the liquid nitrogen in 5-10 short bursts to the damaged tissue. A small amount of ointment will be applied, and then a bandage will be placed over the treated area. Afterwards, the area may be mildly tender and will likely change color. The treated area may also blister but will scab over after two to three days.

Colorado Skin and Vein is one of the leading providers of Cryotherapy in Denver, Colorado. For more information or to make an appointment, request a consult online or call our office at 303.683.3235.

FAQs

What is Cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy, also called cryosurgery, is a minimally invasive treatment that uses extreme cold to freeze and destroy diseased tissue, including cancer cells.

What are some common uses of the procedure?

  • Skin tumors
  • Precancerous skin moles
  • Nodules
  • Skin tags
  • Sun Spots
  • Warts
  • Seborrheic keratosis

How should I prepare?

This procedure is very simple with minimal discomfort, but you may want to take some ibuprofen (400-800 mg) a half-hour before this procedure.

How does the procedure work?

Cryotherapy applies nitrogen at extremely cold temperatures to destroy diseased tissue. The liquid nitrogen (-170o C) is applied in several short sprays directly to the area in question.

Living tissue, healthy or diseased, cannot withstand extremely cold conditions and will die from:

  • Ice within the cell: at approximately -40°C or less, intracellular lethal-ice crystals begin to form that will tear apart almost any cell.
  • Bursting from swelling or shrinking: if ice forms only outside the cell, osmosis—the movement of a solution through the membrane of a cell—causes the cell to shrink as it gives up water to replace the water that has turned to ice. As the area thaws, water rushes into the shrunken cell and causes it to burst. For this reason, cryotherapy can consist of a series of steps in which lesions are repeatedly frozen and thawed.

Once the cells are destroyed, the white blood cells of the immune system work to clear out the damaged tissue. There is some evidence to suggest that this procedure also stimulates the immune system to attack any remaining abnormal cells.

What will happen after the treatment?

You will have a small blister over the treated area that will dry out in about 2-3 days. The treated area normally takes about 4-6 weeks to heal on the face and neck, but can take a little longer on the body. Read our Cryotherapy Aftercare Guide for more information on post-procedure care.

We are always happy to meet with you to review your needs. Please call Colorado Skin and Vein at 303.683.3235 to schedule an appointment or request a consult and someone will call you as soon as possible.

 

Dr. Verebelyi is a member of ASLMS, ABVLM, AAFP and Mensa

Dr. Verebelyi is a nationally recognized authority on laser surgery. He is board certified by both the American Board of Family Practice and The American Board of Venous & Lymphatic Medicine. Dr. Verebelyi helped create the Fundamentals of Laser Surgery course given by American Society of Laser Medicine & Surgery (ASLMS) where he has worked as both a director and instructor. He is a Fellow at the ASLMS, member of the American College of Phlebology and a member of Mensa.

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