Cryotherapy and Electrodessication

What Is Cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy refers to treatment of surface skin lesions with liquid nitrogen.  Lesions that may be treated with cryotherapy include the following:

  • Actinic keratosis
  • Viral warts
  • Seborrheic keratosis

Cryotherapy Benefits

Freezing may be the most suitable way of getting rid of many different kinds of surface skin lesions.  It is relatively inexpensive, safe, and reliable.  However, it is important that the skin lesion has been properly diagnosed by a board-certified dermatologist prior to treatment.

The treated area is likely to blister within a few hours.  Sometimes the blister is clear and sometimes it is red or purple due to bleeding (this is harmless).  Usually no special attention is needed during the healing phase.  The treated area may be gently washed once or twice daily, and should be kept clean and petroleum jelly applied to speed healing.


Modern, high-frequency electrosurgical devices transfer electrical energy to human tissue via a treatment electrode that remains cool. Electrosurgery is used to destroy benign and malignant skin lesions, to control bleeding, and to cut or excise tissue. Electrosurgery is simple to perform and is useful for treating a variety of skin lesions, especially small superficial lesions (ie., skin tags, seborrheic keratosis, small angiomas). Electrodessication is one major modality in electrosurgery. An active electrode touches or is inserted into the skin to produce tissue destruction. Resulting superficial wounds heal quickly by secondary intention. To speed healing, wounds are cleansed daily and then covered with petrolatum or antibiotic ointment. It is important that skin lesions be properly diagnosed by a board-certified dermatologist prior to treatment.

If you have any questions or comments, or if you want to learn more about the services we provide, please call us at 360.918.8101 . For a consultation, or to setup an appointment click here.

Cosmetic Dermatologist Serving Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, Tacoma, Puyallup, Gig Harbor, Centralia, Shelton, Federal Way & surrounding areas in Washington.

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