What Is Cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy, also known as liquid nitrogen, is a treatment option for treating verrucae/warts and has been around for many years. Cryotherapy involves destroying the viral cells by subduing the virus to very cold temperatures, destroying them.
The area is frozen creating an ice ball which causes destruction to the virus and surrounding cells. The damaged cells rupture releasing the virus into the bloodstream where they are removed from the body by the immune system.
What Does Cryotherapy Involve?
- The skin is prepared removing any callused and dead skin surrounding the verruca/wart and then sterilised with skin disinfectant.
- The liquid nitrogen is sprayed for couple minutes with intervals of rest and re-application.
- The area is dressed, and the podiatrist will give you the appropriate aftercare advice necessary.
Will It Be Painful?
During the treatment, very little pain is experienced and usually feels very cold with a little stinging sensation which will ease off within a few minutes. After the treatment, the area should blister within 24-48 hours (this can be delayed in some patients). If discomfort is felt during this time it is advised to take painkillers such as paracetamol which will help to ease the discomfort.
On some occasions, the lesion can bleed under the skin forming a blood blister. This is a common consequence and is nothing to worry about. The area needs to blister to eradicate the verruca/wart. If you have any concerns our team are available on a 24-hour emergency telephone number.
Follow Up & Redressing?
Your podiatrist will advise on the appropriate dressing to use in between appointments.
The verruca/wart will be assessed 7-10 days post-treatment. If necessary, the podiatrist will freeze the area again. Some verrucae/warts can be resilient so may require multiple treatments. Your podiatrist will discuss this with you during your initial appointment.