When seeking to protect one’s skin from cancer and other ailments, preventative measures are key. However, sometimes prevention is not enough; being familiar with effective, minimally invasive treatments is also very important.
What Is Cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy, also known as cryosurgery or cryoablation, is a medical technique that uses liquid nitrogen to destroy pre-cancerous cells as well as some benign but bothersome growths.
Cryotherapy does not require any anesthesia and can be applied topically using a spray gun or cotton swabs. In cryotherapy, the diseased cells are rapidly frozen, then allowed to slowly thaw. This process is necessary to kill the cells. Once thawed, a scab will form over the lesion, which then falls off. Generally within a couple weeks the healing is complete.
There are many skin conditions that are not related to skin cancer that can also be effectively treated by cryotherapy. Warts are probably the most common example, but other types of skin growths, infections and sun spots can also respond well to cryotherapy.
Cryotherapy has also shown promising results for some types of internal cancers such as prostate, liver and kidney cancer. But cryotherapy for skin lesions is a less invasive form of the treatment, with quicker and easier healing.
When considering cryotherapy for skin lesions, finding a board-certified dermatologist is critical, as damage to nearby nerves or non-infected cells, scarring and ulceration can occur. Be sure to be informed on the diagnosis and all available treatments to make a well-informed decision.