Cryotherapy (Liquid Nitrogen treatment)

Cryotherapy is a treatment to “deep freeze” a skin lesion using Liquid Nitrogen to bring its temperature down to -120 degree Celcius. In deep freezing a lesion, the lesion is frozen to death and eliminated.

How is cryotherapy done?

Using a cryo gun canister, liquid nitrogen is sprayed onto the lesion. The freezing is time controlled and the frozen area will solidify as a thin layer of ice. It is then allowed to thaw and a second round of freezing will be carried out. Each round is called 1 freeze-thaw cycle. Not all lesions are suitable for cryotherapy and your dermatologist will advise you accordingly.

The Cryotherapy Treatment

Why is cryotherapy so commonly performed by Dermatologists?

It is the most common procedure performed by dermatologists because the treatment is not only effective and affordable, it is also quick & easy. It does not require anaesthesia and the aftercare is very simple. There is no tedious wound care and dressing change to attend to.

    What is a typical cryotherapy treatment like?

    There is slight pain during the treatment and patients may experience some pain after the treatment for up to a day or two. More often than not, the pain will go off in just after a few hours. There will be a small bump as a result of the freeze “burnt”. Sometimes, a clear or blood blister may follow. Regular application of the prescribed antibiotic ointment is advisable and a follow up review will be scheduled.

      What skin problems are suitable for Cryotherapy?

      Cryotherapy has been used to treat a wide variety of skin lesions – malignant and non-malignant. Common examples are as follow:

      What else do I need to know?

      Is cryotherapy a safe treatment?

      Generally, cryotherapy is a safe procedure. However, minor issues and complications as follow can sometimes occur: Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation / hypopigmentation, recurrence of the skin growth, multiple sessions maybe required for viral warts

      Post inflammatory Hyperpigmentation / Hypopigmentation

      The treated area may look darker or lighter as a result of the burn. In most cases, the pigmentation will fade after sometime.

      Recurrence of the skin growth

      Skin cancer such as BCC and early SCC may recur and they may require repeat treatment or surgical excision.

      Multiple sessions maybe required for viral warts

      The purpose of cryotherapy on warts is to induce the immune system to eliminate the virus. But it is not easy to stimulate the immune systems and some viruses are hard to kill. Hence we may need repeated sessions of treatment before we can succeed.

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        Dr. Wong Soon Tee

        Consultant Dermatologist
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        Dr. Wong Soon Tee

        Consultant Dermatologist

        Care and Professionalism Refined by
        Over 20 Years of Dermatology Experience

        • MBBS, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, Singapore
        • MRCP. Member of Royal College of Physicians, United Kingdom
        • FAMS, Fellow of Academy of Medicine, Singapore
        • Adjunct Assistant Professor, National University of Singapore
        • Visiting Consultant, University Dermatology Division, National University Hospital
        • Visiting Consultant, Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Centre, National University Hospital

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