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Cryotherapy

The Treatment

The word ‘cryo’ originates from the Greek word ‘krýos’ which translates simply as ‘ice-cold.’ As such, Cryotherapy literally means therapy, or treatment, that utilises low temperatures. The most common product used for this treatment is liquid nitrogen, which has a boiling point of a staggering -196°c.

Cryotherapy is a procedure that is becoming increasingly popular for its ability to treat a wide variety of different skin conditions. This includes non-cancerous lesions, areas of sun-damaged skin and even Bowen’s disease. Its benefits do not stop there, either, as Cryotherapy is also used in the treatment of chronic pain. It is especially useful for reducing areas of swelling, meaning that it can be particularly beneficial when trying to manage pain around places that commonly swell, such as your joints or tendons.

How Does It Work?

As a treatment, Cryotherapy is usually performed by a specialist dermatologist. This person will apply liquid nitrogen to the skin by using a spray gun. In some cases, a metal probe or cotton bud will be used instead.

This procedure doesn’t take long to perform, although this does depend on the size of the lesion that is being removed. As the therapy begins, liquid nitrogen will either be sprayed onto the target area of skin or a probe will be inserted next to the affected nerve. Both of these methods effectively end up freezing the nerve, causing it to become inactive and reducing any painful sensations in this area of the body. The frozen skin will take a couple of minutes to thaw and return to normal – once this has happened your therapist may suggest a repeat procedure to ensure optimal results.

After a few days, a scab will begin to form on your skin, this usually takes one to two weeks to fall off.

Am I Suitable For Treatment?

Your suitability for this procedure will be assessed by one of our consultants prior to your treatment. During this consultation, your medical history will be examined to ensure no unforeseen complications arise during treatment.

You will not be suitable for treatment if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have a pacemaker or suffer from certain cardiovascular diseases.

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FAQ's

Does it hurt?

Cryotherapy is usually a pain-free treatment. However, if you are experiencing a large amount of discomfort during your treatment then a numbing anaesthetic can be provided.

When will results become visible?

This is dependent on the area that was treated. In most cases, the scab will peel off around the two-week mark. After the scab has fallen off, the skin can appear entirely normal without any evidence of the original skin lesion.

How many treatments are required?

The number of treatments required varies depending on the size of the lesion being treated. This will be discussed with you prior to treatment.

Is there any downtime?

Cryotherapy comes with very little downtime, however, it is possible that your skin can bruise, swell or become tender for a brief period of time after treatment.

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