- A quick and effective treatment
- Minimal discomfort
- No anesthetic needed
- Sterile procedure- no bleeding, no incisions
- For most lesions- 1-2 treatment may be enough to eliminate lesions
- Most lesions are permanently removed
How does the treatment work?
The applicator is held close to the skin lesion and moved quickly towards and away from it for a period for 1-30 seconds, depending on the size and the depth of the lesion. Once the first freeze cycle is complete the tissue is left to thaw for roughly 30 seconds, at which point the second freeze cycle can commence. This freezing process destroys the benign skin lesions. The liquefied nitrous oxide destroys the tissue by freezing the inter-cellular fluid which forms ice shards and crystals. These then rupture the cell membrane, destroying the cell.
This treatment can eradicate 2mm skin lesions in just 10 seconds and is able to penetrate up to 5mm deep. Most small skin lesions respond to one single treatment. However occasionally deeper or larger skin imperfections can require more than one treatment. Similarly, warts and verrucae may require a couple more aggressive treatments.
Can my GP not remove my skin lesion?
Many of our clients will have been to the local GP to request removal of cosmetic skin issues and swiftly been told that it is no longer a service offered by the NHS and they must go privately.We have had many people contact us for this service so we now have the pleasure to launch it at our Empire Beauty Clinic in Dundee. This treatment is no longer available to get at your GP surgery and very few places are offering this advanced treatment.
What can I expect during Cryo Pen treatment?
Every client is different, therefore each client receives a bespoke consultation. During the consultation you will be required to discuss your medical history as well as the lesions. The practitioner will then discuss the treatment options available to you and the expected outcomes. When a suitable treatment has been agreed upon, the treatment can then be administered. If a lesion looks suspicious, you will be advised to seek approval from your General Practitioner to proceed with the treatment.
When administering treatment, your practitioner will target the lesions with the pen. The duration of the treatment is dependent on the size and nature of the lesion, but generally each lesion just takes a matter of seconds. It is usual to see a frost or ice-field appear on the top of the lesion during treatment. A ‘freeze-thaw-freeze’ approach is often used when the lesion is frozen, allowed to defrost for a few seconds and then a second treatment applied. Although it is best to try to leave the treated area uncovered, a plaster or simple dressing may be applied if it is in an area which may lead to rubbing and aggravation. No anaesthetic is required for the treatment.
During the procedure, the area freezes and turns white. After this white area thaws, a flushing occurs and the area will turn red. This thawing is associated with a pinching sensation as a weal is formed. This weal will typically turn into a blister which may last for 3 to 5 days before it scabs. The scab will fall off within 2 weeks. Depending on the extent of freeze, a new scab may form and repeat the process. The lesion will be completely healed in 2 to 6 weeks. After primary healing occurs, the area will be lighter than the surrounding area due to loss of melanocytes. Lesions usually assume a darker colour (this is the dead cells), as the skin regenerates underneath it will slough or flake away.
How long does the blister last after treatment?
A blister may form 2-24 hours after the being frozen. Blisters may take several days to dissolve. Once a blister breaks, a crust will form over the lesion. Healing occurs from 1 to 6 weeks, depending on depth of freeze and size of lesion.
Does it hurt?
It is usually very well tolerated with only minimal discomfort. The sensation is similar to a stinging nettle on the skin when the nitrous oxide reaches the bottom of the lesion, but this vanishes quickly. There is sometimes some residual stinging after treatment which may last for several minutes. Following the treatment, the skin lesion may become red and sore, and there may be some blistering and occasionally a scab may form. If a deeper freeze is required, this can sometimes cause a greater degree of pain which may be immediately following treatment and for a variable time afterwards.
How is cryosurgery better than other methods of removing skin lesions?
Cryosurgery requires no anaesthesia and has less scarring than other techniques of skin lesion removal with minimal post-op care.
What can I expect after treatment?
Over the following days, a scab will often form and the lesion may become a little red and angry looking. This will usually resolve over 1-6 weeks and the area remaining will often return to normal, although it is possible to develop a small area of scarring or change in skin colour. It is important not to pick at the scab as this may lead to scarring.
Following treatment, it is normal to experience a residual stinging which can last for up to an hour. After this, the area will often become a little red, swollen and sore and a blister may develop. There may be some weeping from the wound and a scab may develop. It is important not to pick at the wound as this may result in scarring. As the wound heals, the skin lesion will dry up, assume a darker colour and slough off in 1 to 2 weeks. It is very important not to pick at the area as this will increase healing time. Lesions treated on the legs often take a little more time to heal. A follow up appointment will be made and further treatment applied if necessary.
What do I need to do after Cryo Pen treatment?
You will be given clear aftercare instructions when you undergo treatment at the Clinic. There is no real downtime; often clients book to have this treatment in their lunch break and return straight back to work.
We do not recommend covering the area with a dressing or plaster unless we have otherwise advised you to do so. Healing will tend to occur over a 1 to 6 week period. If you have any concerns that the wound may look infected (increasing redness or pain, yellow discharge or puss) then we would ask you to book an appointment with us for a review at the earliest opportunity.
Question: Will there be scarring?
Typically cryosurgery leaves the least amount of scarring of any form of lesion removal because it causes the least damage to the connective tissue.
How permanent is the cure?
For most lesions, cryosurgery is a permanent removal. Some lesions are harder to remove than others. In more delicate places a shorter freeze time with repeat procedures may be required to get a final result with the least damage to the surrounding skin. In other instances a deep lesion may take several aggressive treatments to get final results. In particular, warts that don’t have pre-treatment may take multiple freezes.
What type of skin abnormalities are most appropriate to freeze?
Almost any unwanted skin lesions are appropriate such as warts, moles, actinic keratosis, seborrheic keratosis, keloids scars ,age spots , solar lentigo, and cherry angioma.
What types of lesions should not be frozen?
All melanomas and recurrent basal cell carcinomas. Melanoma can spread by any of several means including local, lymphatic and blood. Additionally, Melanoma will change to a much more aggressive form if part of the lesion is left behind undetected. Basil cell carcinoma is typically spread by local extension and you may need more extensive surgery if recurrence is suspected.
Can anyone have cryotherapy?
Treatment is not suitable for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and those with auto-immune disorders or cold sensitivity are not suitable for treatment. It is also not suitable for those that suffer from keloid scarring. People with high levels of cryo globulins should be treated with caution. If you have really dark skin, you may not want to have cryosurgery, as it will kill the melanocytes around the treated area, making the skin in that area lighter. Repeated short freezing cycles will be recommended if you have a darker skin type. This just means that you may need more sessions spaced a few weeks apart to remove your lesion rather than just one.