Cryotherapy is a long established treatment for benign skin lesions such as skin tags, warts, blemishes, and solar keratoses (sun damage)

What is cryotherapy?

Cryosurgery is where a liquid chemical is sprayed onto your skin to freeze a skin lesion. The freezing will kill a small area of skin cells. It is used to try to remove irritating skin problems such as skin tags and other non cancerous growths.

What will happen during the procedure?

Dr Takhar will spray the chemical onto the area we are trying to kill from an aerosol cannister. After a few seconds your skin will go white where it has frozen. They will then stop and wait for the ‘iceball’ to thaw and for the whiteness to disappear. This cycle may be repeated.

Are there any risks or side effects?

Nearly all medical treatments have risks. It is very unlikely that you will have any serious problems, but some potential problems to be aware of include:

  • Discomfort during the freezing
  • Pain, blistering (sometimes blood blisters), redness and swelling in the next 24-48 hours – it is effectively a ‘cold burn’.
  • Failure to completely get rid of the problem, or the problem coming back
  • Whitening / loss of skin pigment over the area (hypopigmentation), especially with darker skin.
  • Scarring: it is unusual for this to happen
  • Numbness – if a superficial nerve is frozen, it may result in numbness of the area of skin supplied by that nerve.  Normal feeling usually returns within a matter of months

 What do I need to know after procedure?

You may need more than one treatment to get rid of the problem.

It is normal to get some redness and swelling for a day or so afterwards. The lesion will usually scab over and fall off within a couple of weeks. You can take paracetamol for pain. Anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen (taken with food) can also be helpful, but not if you have an allergy to these or have problems with indigestion.

Should you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Amrit Takhar for advice