The skin plays a very significant role as a barrier to chemicals and other contaminants entering the body. However, skin lesions may disturb this barrier function. According to a report published by the American Academy of Dermatology, one out of four American is affected by a skin disease. Indeed, it is a good thing that there are remedies, such as Cryosurgery, available to help many people with their skin problem.
Cryosurgery is a non-invasive dermatological technique for the treatment of several types of skin lesions. It is a powerful and versatile procedure which has been utilised for many years and has been proven as a conducive and simple remedy to perform in clinics. Cryosurgery has been formed as a localized freezing cold that causes the destruction of cell integrity. The procedure yields many advantages which include:
- Short preparation time
- Minimal risk of infection
- Does not require expensive supplies or injectable anesthesia
- Skin condition can be treated in a single session
- Minimal wound care
Cryosurgery is an efficient procedure for an extensive range of skin conditions. It is usually used for benign skin lesions, a precancerous condition, and superficial skin cancer. It is also a common treatment remedy for warts viral infection (verruca vulgaris) that grows rough bumps on the skin and for another virus called molluscum contagiosum. Basically, the main objective of the whole cryosurgery procedure is to heal the area around the lesions and to prevent any scarring as much as possible.
Cryosurgery is an effective treatment for several various skin lesions in most non-hair-bearing areas of the body; it is performed with the supervision of a medical expert. In handling the procedure, your physician will determine first the type of method to be used. He/She may employ various kinds of procedure in efficiently removing the affected tissue where the thickness of the epidermis and underlying structures, the water content of the skin and blood flow are weighed.
In this procedure, your physician will use liquid nitrogen for the destruction of the lesions. As a standard operating procedure, cryosurgery requires temperatures of -40°C to -50°C to completely remove the malignant tissue and in most cases, your doctor will freeze the affected area for a certain amount of time which is known as the freeze-thaw cycle. There are some instances where expert conduct longer or shorter time periods, depending on varying cases.
Time Spot Freeze Technique
The timed spot freeze technique is the proper method for a specialist who is learning to conduct cryosurgery. It allows greater regularity of liquid nitrogen delivery where it maximizes the ability to destroy a lesion with minimal morbidity.
Timed spot freezing is conducted through the assistance of a cryosurgical gun that typically contains 300 to 500 mL of liquid nitrogen. Nozzle sizes range from A through F, with F as the smallest aperture. Nozzle sizes B and C suit best for the treatment of most benign and malignant lesions as they are the apertures most commonly involved in case reports. The freezing time is monitored according to several factors such as skin thickness and tissue type, vascularity, and lesion characteristics.
Before the procedure, your physician has to determine first using a skin marker pen the affected target designated ice field. The technique has to aim the nozzle of the cryosurgical gun positioned at about 1 to 1.5 cm from the skin surface and point at the middle of the delineated lesion.
The cryosurgical gun trigger is pressed, letting the liquid nitrogen to be released and sprayed until an ice ball overs the entire lesion and the desired margin. The cryosurgical tool has to be kept in a maintained position to keep the target field frozen for a certain amount of time. Again, the period differs on the kind of skin lesion to be removed. The period normally ranges from 5 to 30 seconds beyond the initial time for the build-up of the ice field.
What Happens After Cryotherapy
Within a few hours of treatment, some blistering may occur in the affected area. This blister will eventually become a scab which will dry up and fall off afterwards.
Some patients usually experience some minimal changes in the affected area which are indications of development on their conditions. Many people experience to have a small blister in the area after almost a week while some people experience a thick scab. For other patients, the affected area will get surrounded by a small red ring of inflammation. If you get this symptom and it occurs with pain, there’s a big chance that it could be infected and immediate assistance of your physician must be sought to get you the proper medications.
There are some cases as well whereby patients experience that only part of the lesion will fall off; for cases like this, it is suggested to get the attention of your doctor as well. The main reason for this scenario is the possibility that there’s still be a root in the affected area. Contact your physician so they can perform further freezing on that surface to make sure that it is completely gone.
Once the actinic keratosis is gone, most patients experience a phenomenon commonly known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or temporary discolouration on the affected area which will stay for about one to four months.
Experts strictly advise patients to avoid picking at the scab to avoid scarring. It is imperative to let the scab heal on its own or just let the scab fall off to have the best outcome.
Cryosurgery provides several benefits to its patients. Beyond its non-invasive nature, cryosurgery serves as a gentle alternative treatment for people suffering from common skin lesions. Cryosurgery is a highly effective treatment for a broad range of skin conditions and its importance cannot be overemphasized as it has been known to reduced skin lesion cases over the years. Many medical suppliers, such as Emech Medical, provide wide selections of Cryosurgery equipment that can help you with your medical condition.