Cryosurgery involves the use of extreme cold to destroy tumors or precancerous lesions found on your skin. The most conventional cryosurgery agents utilized are liquid nitrogen and carbon dioxide. When liquid nitrogen has a temperature between -346 and -320°F, it can kill and destroy human cells upon contact. Cryosurgery through the use of liquid nitrogen is used as the preferred treatment for actinic keratosis. Cryotherapy is a type of cryosurgery that we may use to freeze off warts using liquid nitrogen spray. Advances in cryotherapy technology have dramatically reduced the long-term side effects once associated with the treatment.
Before the procedure, you may be asked for any allergies, medications, or over-the-counter (OTC) medications that you may be taking. Cryosurgery for skin cancer, especially actinic keratosis, requires little preparation on your part. We will provide you with precise and complete instructions on how to prepare for the procedure as well as after care information.
In some instances, a light anesthetic may be used to prevent any pain or discomfort. Then, liquid nitrogen is placed on the skin using a cotton swab or spray. Once applied, the liquid nitrogen will cause the targeted cells to freeze, die, and slowly be absorbed by your body.