Dermatology Facts—Liquid Nitrogen Treatment
Liquid nitrogen is a cold, liquefied gas with a temperature of 196 degrees below zero Celsius (-321° Fahrenheit). It is
used to freeze and destroy superficial skin growths such as warts and precancerous lesions (actinic keratoses). Liquid nitrogen
causes stinging and mild pain while the growth is being frozen and then thaws. The discomfort usually lasts less than five minutes.
After liquid nitrogen treatment your skin may become swollen and red; it may blister. Then a scab (crust) will form. It will
fall off by itself in one to two weeks. The skin growth will come off with the scab, leaving healthy new skin.
No special care is needed after liquid nitrogen treatment. Just ignore it. You can wash your skin as usual. If clothing i
rritates the area, cover it with a small bandage (Band-Aid). If you or your child has pain from the blistering, give Tylenol or
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (ibuprofen, i.e., Advil or Motrin) as needed. Often, multiple treatments are required to
fully eliminate warts.
Sometimes liquid nitrogen treatment fails. If the growth is not cured by liquid nitrogen, you can make a return appointment.