Skin disorders are a leading cause of healthcare treatment in the United States. From chronic medical conditions to cosmetic conditions, skin disorder treatment accounts for millions of dollars in the United States.
In treating skin disorders, patients have many options. In most cases, treatment comes in the form of a dermatological recommendation after a thorough examination and diagnosis of the skin disorder. Of the many techniques for remedy, the procedure known as cryosurgery is becoming increasingly more popular.
In cryosurgery, whether treating a benign or malignant skin lesion, liquid nitrogen is sprayed on the location of the lesion. The spraying of liquid nitrogen creates a cooling effect which destroys the cells of the lesion by crystallizing or creating ice formations. In the 24 hours after cryosurgery, the continued destruction of lesion cells continues through the body’s natural inflammation and healing process.
Beyond malignant skin lesions, the most common form of skin disorder treated with cryosurgery is the sun-damaged skin. In fact, the sun-damaged skin usually only requires one session of cryosurgery whereas other forms of skin lesions may require repeat sessions.
In addition to malignant lesions and sun-damaged skin, cryosurgery is effective at removing warts and even improving keloid scars. However, in these skin disorders, the sessions of cryosurgery could be as many as three or four.
If you are considering cryosurgery in the treatment of your skin disorder, there are some health considerations that must be made first. In patients with heavy pigmentation, in those who suffer from Reynaud’s disease and in patients with intolerance to severely cold temperatures, cryosurgery may not be indicated.
There are relatively few complications that arise out of cryosurgery. The most notable complication involves the inflammation and healing process. Changes to the pigmentation of the skin, in the area treated with cryosurgery, is also quite common. Often, however, this pigmentation change will fade as the area of the surgery site heals over time.
As with any skin disorder treatment, it is important to utilize a trained and licensed professional. After thorough examination of your skin and a medical history, your dermatologist should be the professional to make the recommendation as to whether or not cryosurgery is best for your condition. When confirmed, discuss the risks associated with the location of your lesion and what, if any, complications you may experience as a result of the healing process.
Beyond pigmentation of skin, inflammation and a slight burning sensation, cryosurgery is a rather uneventful procedure in treating skin disorders.