At The London Skin and Hair Clinic our Dermatologists use cryotherapy (freezing with liquid nitrogen) for treating skintags, superficial skin cancer and actinic keratosis, and warts.
What is a Cryotherapy Procedure?
At a Glance
- Guide Price: From £200 for up to 3 lesions, and from £300 for 4 or more lesions, per treatment.
- Frequency: Review and repeat treatment after two weeks
- Risk: Low. In rare cases a scar may form
- Aftercare: Keep the area dry and out of the sun and do not pick the scab that forms
What is involved in a Cryotherapy Procedure?
Cryotherapy is performed without local anaesthetic as the freezing temperature acts as an anaesthetic. The Dermatologist uses a canister with very precise nozzles to spray the area to be treated with liquid nitrogen. Procedures last from around 5 minutes to 30 minutes.
The skin will turn white where it has frozen. It will return to a more normal colour after a few minutes when it has thawed out.
Over the next few days a scab will form and this will drop off within one to two weeks. Depending on the size and nature of the lesion, it may be necessary to have more than one treatment to ensure successful removal of the growth so your Dermatologist will normally ask you to return for repeat treatment.
What are the risks or potential side effects?
Most people experience mild discomfort during the cryotherapy process but it can be more painful if a deep freeze has been necessary. There may be some discomfort after the procedure such as swelling and redness, or oozing for up to two or three days after. Common painkillers are recommended to ease the discomfort immediately after the procedure.
In rare cases a scar may form on the site of the freezing. The pigment of the skin may lighten or dark in colour in the weeks or months following the treatment. This will usually return to normal in time but sometimes can be permanent.
If a superficial nerve is frozen this may cause numbness in that area of skin for a few weeks or months but normal feeling should return.