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    What is a dermatologic surgeon?

    Part of a progressive medical subspecialty, ASDS member dermatologists perform medically necessary and cosmetic procedures to improve the health, function and beauty of skin through every stage of life.

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    From forehead furrows to frown lines…

    Performing more than 5 million cosmetic procedures each year, ASDS member dermatologists offer many treatments that are less intense, safer and have quicker recovery times than ever before.

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    1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every year

    Any suspicious new growths or changes should be examined by a dermatologist immediately. ASDS member dermatologists are trained to select the best treatment choice based on the individual patient.

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    From excess fat to wrinkles…

    Offering a range of office-based cosmetic procedures, ASDS member dermatologists can select the appropriate treatment choice to meet your individual goals.

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Cryosurgery

 

Uses for Cryosurgery

 
 

Learn more about specific conditions where cryosurgery can be used

 
 

What is cryosurgery?

In cryosurgery, liquid nitrogen is used to remove skin growths, fade age spots and treat early stage basal and squamous cell carcinomas. The doctor will apply frozen nitrogen using either a cotton swab or a spray device. The goal is to freeze the skin quickly and then allow it to slowly thaw to cause maximum destruction to targeted skin cells. In some cases, additional applications may be needed. When treating skin cancer, the doctor may insert a small needle containing a thermometer into the treatment area to ensure the treated area has been sufficiently cooled.

What should first be done before considering cryosurgery?

The doctor will review the patient’s medical history and examine the condition to be treated. Careful consideration is give to skin cancers to make sure they have no spread beyond the superficial layer of the skin. No extensive preparation is necessary for cryosurgery. The treatment area must be clean and dry, but it is not necessary to be sterile.

When is cryosurgery appropriate?

Cryosurgery can be used to treat age spots, skin growths (warts and skins tags) and early stage basal and squamous cell carcinomas.

Who is not a candidate for cryosurgery?

The procedure is well tolerated by most patients.

Is cryosurgery painful?

Patients may experience a mild burning sensation during treatment. Local anesthesia usually is not required.

What are the complications or potential side effects of cryosurgery?

  • Swelling
  • Scarring
  • Loss of sensation in treatment area for 12 to 18 months
  • Loss of pigmentation
  • Loss of hair in treatment area
  • Bleeding and blisters
  • Healing problems

What can I expect after having had cryosurgery?

Redness, swelling and the formation of a blister can be expected at the treatment site. An over-the-counter pain reliever can be used to control pain. Patients will be directed to wash the site daily while fluid continues to ooze from the wound, usually for five to 14 days, until a dry crust forms. The crust will eventually fall off by itself. Healing time for head and neck procedures is two to six weeks; longer for other parts of the body.

For more information and referrals

For more information on skin conditions and treatments, along with a list of ASDS members in your state, please visit the find a dermatologic surgeon section of our website.

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