Cryotherapy is a treatment for benign and precancerous skin lesions. Liquid nitrogen (-196°C) is sprayed from a canister onto your lesion(s) for a few seconds. This will sting briefly.

Complications

  • The treated area will become red, possibly blistered, and sore or itchy.
  • The wound will take up to 2 to 3 weeks to heal. Hopefully, your skin lesion will have subsided by then but sometimes repeat sessions of cryotherapy are required.
  • You may be left with a pale or pink, flat scar after a few months.
  • Recurrence of your lesion is possible.

Wound care

Leave the wound open unless it is rubbing on clothing and in which case, we will provide dry dressings.

  • Pop blisters with a sterile needle or pin. Sterilise the needle/pin in boiling water for a couple of minutes before use.
  • Do not peel the skin off once the blister has been lanced.
  • Vaseline® or Savlon® can be applied daily to the wound if necessary.
  • Oral pain relief should not be required.

Printable version of this page

Cryotherapy GHPI1476_06_21 Department: Dermatology Review due: August 2025 PDF, 490.4 KB, 2 pages
Reference number GHPI0879_08_22
Department Dermatology
Review due August 2025
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