Cryotherapy is mainly applied by Dermatologists – Venereologists. It can also be used in neurosurgery, oncology, gynecology, urology and ophthalmology.
The low temperature of the tissue is usually achieved through the use of liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen is usually kept in special containers.
During the contact of liquid nitrogen to the skin , through spraying or contact probes freezing if the skin is caused .
Soon swelling and redness are created in the area and in some cases by next day a blister is formed. Subsequently a scab is formed (crust) which detaches in 7 -12 days, depending on the treatment.
During the freezing of the skin ice crystals are formed both inside and outside of the cell. This results blood stasis within the vessels, tissue anoxia and finally necrosis of the diseased tissue.
A successful technique is considered the rapid freezing of the lesion and its slow defrosting. Multiple cryotherapy sessions of smaller duration cause more damage to the tissue than a longer one.
Cryotherapy is used for treatment of following skin lesions, in alphabetical order:
- Cherry angiomas
- Angiolymphomatoid hyperplasia
- Squamous cell carcinoma
- Actinic lips
- Actinic keratosis
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Oral mucocele
- Cutaneous horn
- Cutaneous leishmaniasis
- Facial granuloma
- Solar lentigo
- Folds pappiloma – warts
- Malignant lentigo
- Benign hemangiomas Campbell de Morgan
- Molluscum contagiosum
- Myxoid cyst
- Bowen disease
- Genital warts
- Pyogenic granuloma
- Kaposi sarcom
- Seborrheic keratosis
- Sebaceous glandulars
- Hypertrophic scar
- Venous lake
The frequency of cryotherapy sessions depends on the problem and is determined by the attending doctor.
In cases of repeated treatment cryotherapy is applied after 3-4 weeks.
Cryotherapy should not be performed on patients suffering from the following:
- Cold urticaria
- Cold intolerance
- Raynaud’s disease
- Pyoderma gangrenosum
Cryotherapy is generally a safe method with few complications the most common being hypopigmentation, hyperpigmentation and scarring .
Cryotherapy’s cost is small and depends on the sessions needed and the number of skin lesions.
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