Cryosurgery is a medical procedure in which substances that provide extremely cold temperatures are applied on areas of the skin for the purpose of removing unwanted skin tissue. It’s been used to remove skin lesions or other skin growths that are unlike the skin surrounding them for more than one hundred years.
This procedure removes unnatural growths on the skin without causing too much scarring, if any at all. It can be used in the removal of cancerous skin growths and also precancerous skin growths.
Basics of Cryosurgery
A cryogen is a substance that is used to deliver extremely cold temperatures to these sections of the skin. Up until the 1940s, the main cryogens that were used in cryosurgery were highly compressed carbon dioxide and liquefied air. Nowadays, the main cryogen used is liquid nitrogen.
The application of liquid nitrogen to benign and precancerous lesions on the skin is a very simple process. In the past, a simple cotton-tipped swab was used. In recent times, liquid nitrogen spraying instruments are used.
The spraying instruments are easy and simple to use and make the treatment fast and convenient for our patients. There are different varieties of these instruments to accommodate the easy removal of varying types of skin lesions as well as the level of depth of cold temperatures that are necessary to remove them.
When cryosurgery is used to treat cancerous lesions on the skin, it’s often not the primary treatment. It’s usually used to treat cancerous growths only when other treatments have failed or when the cancerous growths return after having been removed with other techniques.
Before the cryosurgery treatment, our medical professional will clean the area to be treated in order to remove makeup, lotions, powder and other residue from the skin. Our patients will be informed of any risk factors that might be present concerning their condition after an initial consultation and before the cryosurgery is performed. It’s important to notify our team of any medications or nutritional supplements being taken during the consultation to avoid any adverse reactions to the treatment.
What to Expect After Treatment
It’s very normal for the treated areas of the skin to redden after the treatment. The treated area might also swell slightly before a blister eventually forms. This is perfectly normal. Loss of hair in the treated area might also occur. A lot of this depends on the depth of the lesion and how far the freezing temperatures have penetrated the skin.
The skin should heal within a few days of the treatment. After healing has occurred, it’s recommended that a sunscreen be applied every day to the treated area to minimize the appearance of any scarring.
Addressing Your Skin Lesion
If you have a skin lesion, set up a consultation at Dr. Yeoman’s Dermatology Office to get it checked out. Our team can help you determine if cryosurgery is the most effective removal option for your unique situation. For your convenience, we have locations in Paragould and Poplar Bluff. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to learn more.