Cryotherapy for Skin Lesions - Aesthetica Skin Centre

Cryotherapy for Skin Lesions

CryoPen® is a state of the art treatment at Aesthetica Skin centre that uses extreme cold, or cryotherapy, to painlessly and safely destroy unwanted, benign and superficial lesions on the skin’s surface, such as warts, skin tags, verrucae, milia, and cherry angiomas. CryoPen® therapy is a medical procedure that involves applying nitrous oxide gas ejected under high pressure on to the skin. The gas is freezing, which helps to freeze and destroy any benign lesions. During the application, the tip of the CryoPen® reaches -79°C. This is to create a thermal shock at the region where the gas is pointed by causing a rapid drop in temperatures. The temperature drop affects crystallising the targeted cells’ fluid contents, turning them into ice shards, resulting in skin lesions’ destruction. The membrane surrounding the treated cells is ruptured and destroyed. The penetration of the cold is approximately 1mm per 5 seconds of treatment, so a 2mm sized lesion would take 10 seconds of nitrous oxide gas to treat.

Frequently Asked Questions:

CryoPen® therapy takes less time; with treatment sessions lasting less than 5 minutes. No anaesthesia is required, and it is virtually painless. It is one of the least invasive lesion treatments in the market. It is used in the treatment of virtually any benign skin lesion. During treatment, you may see a frost or ice-field on top of the lesion. This shouldn’t cause any worry as the frost usually goes away within a few seconds. A common technique called freeze-thaw-freeze can sometimes be used to freeze, then defrost a frozen lesion, and then freeze it again. Here, the frozen lesion is allowed to rest for 30 seconds and then a second treatment applied whereby the tissue will freeze faster the second time around and destruction of the lesion is more guaranteed. After treatment, it is advisable to leave the area uncovered as this speeds up the healing process. However, your practitioner may apply a simple dressing or plaster if there is a chance that the lesion may get rubbed or aggravated in any way.
CryoPen® treats benign skin lesions on the surface of the skin. It can treat lesions on the face, scalp and body including:

- Skin tags

- Age/liver spots

- Milia

- Cherry angioma

- Viral verrucae (warts)

- Solar lentigo (sun spots)

- Other pigmentation

- Plantar warts

- Condyloma (genital or anal warts)

- Popular nevi (moles, birthmarks etc)

- Contagiosum (water warts)

- Hyperplasia

Clinical data shows that the results are permanent after one or two treatments. Some types of skin lesions may return in other places if you are prone to such manifestations.
CryoPen® therapy has been established to be very safe. However, be prepared for slight discomfort during the procedure. The discomfort usually feels like the pressure of a pen being pressed against your skin. However, unless you have a problem such as a skin allergy, it will only last a few seconds. Generally, no topical anaesthesia (or numbing cream) is required before treatment. Mild stinging following the procedure and immediately after the procedure occur. You will likely experience mild to medium stinging that may last for several minutes to an hour. Although the stinging goes away naturally. Rarely, the skin where the lesion was treated, usually becomes sore, red, weepy and blistered. It may sting for an hour or so after treatment. Often a scab will form in the following days. This is common where deep freezing is used and may cause pain immediately after the treatment. It may be recommended for topical or oral pain killers to relieve discomfort if required. It is important not to scratch or pick at a scab as this can lead to scarring. The treated lesions should completely heal within 1 to 4 weeks, and scabs formed around the lesion will shed after a week to 10 days. Lesions on the leg take the longest time to heal. Some people may develop a temporary change in skin colour (pigmentation) or slight scarring in the treated area – pigment change is more common in darker skin types and may not be temporary. Hair follicles can be damaged by cryotherapy, so if the lesion is within an area of hair, such as on the scalp, then a small amount of hair loss may occur.
How long you need to apply the treatment before seeing results often depends on the size and nature of the lesion. However, for a typical, superficial, benign lesion, it only takes 2 to 10 seconds to complete the treatment procedure in one session. Results are usually observable within1 to 6 weeks of treatment. It is necessary for a follow-up appointment after four weeks following the initial treatment to assess the response to treatment and to determine if there is a need for additional treatment to completely remove any remaining lesions or parts of the lesion. In some cases, one treatment will suffice, and no follow-up is required for small, superficial lesions. However, if the lesion is too persistent and doesn’t go away following the initial treatment, a second treatment can be done. This second treatment should be done within 1 to 4 weeks of the first one.

References:

Akarsu, S., and Kamberoglu, I., (2017). Cryotherapy for Common Premalignant and Malignant Skin Disorders, Dermatologic Surgery and Procedures, Pierre Vereecken, IntechOpen. https://www.intechopen.com/books/dermatologic-surgery-and-procedures/cryotherapy-for-common-premalignant-and-malignant-skin-disorders

Clebak, K.T., Mendez-Miller, M., Croad, J., (2020). Cutaneous cryosurgery for common skin conditions. Am Fam Physician, 1,101(7), 399-406. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32227823/.html

Wood, L.D., Stucki, J.K., Hollenbeak, C.S., Miller, J.J., (2013). Effectiveness of Cryosurgery vs Curettage in the Treatment of Seborrheic Keratoses. JAMA Dermatol. 2013;149(1):108–109. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/fullarticle/1557760


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