What Will Happen After Cryotherapy? (Freezing Treatment)

Cryotherapy is painful, but the pain usually wears off within a few minutes.  The treated area will become red and a little tender, and possible swollen for the first few days after treatment.

Occasionally a blister will form at the treated site.  If the blister is small, it is best left alone; if it is large and painful, it can be punctured with a needle to let the fluid out.  A dry dressing can then be applied for a day or two, but no longer.  Your doctor or practice nurse will be able to advise you about this if necessary.

Usually the treated area scabs over, the scab then dislodges and new skin grows up from beneath.  You may wash as normal and do not need to cover the treated site unless it blisters.  Healing takes two to four weeks on average.

Rarely, massive swelling occurs at a site several inches away from the treated area, often around the eyes.  Do not panic, treat the swelling with an ice pack and it will resolve over a few days.

Occasionally, scarring or loss of pigment may result at the treated site (particularly the deeper lesions where the freezing time is longer).  In our experience, however, the cosmetic result is good and preferable to alternative treatments such as surgery and radiotherapy.

Repeated cryotherapy may be needed to clear the lesion completely.

If your skin lesion hasn’t resolved by four weeks after treatment then please consult your doctor.

Prevent sun damage to your skin by always using a sunscreen that can provide good UVA and UVB protection, with a four- or five-star rating and a high SPF 30-50.

Remember: if you have a new skin lesion that you are concerned about or an existing one that is changing in shape, size or colour or is bleeding/irritating then please consult your doctor.