Cryosurgery Wound Care

What is cryosurgery?

Cryosurgery is a technique used to destroy certain types of skin growths by freezing them with liquid nitrogen.

What should I expect after cryosurgery?

During and immediately following treatment, there may be some pain or stinging in the treated area. This may last a few hours, and sometimes longer, particularly when freezing warts or skin cancers. If needed, you may take a pain reliever like Tylenol to relieve any discomfort.

The area that has been frozen may begin to swell and sometimes forms blisters after several hours. The swelling reaction should peak in one to two days. The area may also drain blister fluid. Later a crust or scab may form.

Most areas will be completely healed in three to six weeks. Areas treated on the back, chest and trunk may take longer to heal than those treated on the face. A loss of skin color (pigmentation) is often followed by return of the color after several months but sometimes the color never returns completely back to normal.

How do I care for the treated area?

Wash the treated areas gently with mild soap and water once to twice daily. Afterward, you can apply Vaseline and a Band-Aid for 5-7 days, once to twice daily. Keeping the area moist with the ointment may promote healing. If scabs develop, don’t pick at them as they may delay healing and may cause a scar to form.

Infection following cryosurgery is rare. However, if the drainage looks like pus or you are worried by the appearance of the treatment site, please call and let us know immediately.