Cryotherapy is the use of extreme cold, in the form of liquid nitrogen, to remove skin growths such as seborrheic keratoses.
This simple procedure usually takes less than a minute and can be done in your doctor's office. Your doctor applies the liquid nitrogen using a probe or a cotton swab, or he or she sprays the liquid nitrogen directly onto the skin growth.
Cryotherapy can cause moderate pain that can last up to 3 days. Healing is generally quick (7 to 14 days). Expect a blister to develop within hours after treatment. The blister will dry up over the next few days, and the keratosis should fall off.
Cryotherapy causes little or no scarring, though some people, particularly those with darker skin, experience permanent skin-color lightening. Talk to your doctor to see if cryotherapy is right for you.
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Amy McMichael, MD - Dermatology
Current as ofFebruary 20, 2015
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.