Hindon Surgery’s Advice on Cryotherapy (‘Freezing’)

Hindon Surgery holds a Cryotherapy (Freezing) Clinic once a month on a Thursday afternoon from 3.30 to 4.30 p.m. with appointments with Dr Craig-McFeely at two to five-minute intervals.

Cryotherapy (‘freezing’) is done using a spray of liquid nitrogen to freeze the skin.
The liquid nitrogen is sent out once a month from Salisbury District Hospital in a special vacuum flask. This has an attachment to deliver a fine spray of the freezing gas.

The doctor can use this spray to very accurately freeze the abnormal area of your skin.

The skin will be frozen, allowed to warm up and then frozen again. Each freeze is for between five and thirty seconds depending on the nature of the lesion and the site.

The procedure is quite painful at the time and the frozen area can be a little sore and itchy for a day or so afterwards.

During this time the skin will be red and feel a little inflamed.

Normally there is no need to cover the area but if it weeps fluid cover with a simple dressing such as Elastoplast.

If a blister forms the fluid can be released by puncturing the blister with a sterilised needle.

As the inflammation settles dead skin will come off. The whole process can take about two weeks.

If some or the entire original lesion still remains please book another appointment for the ‘freezing clinic’ unless the doctor has given other instructions.
Cryotherapy is a useful treatment for minor skin lesions such as:

  • Solar keratoses (sun damage)
  • Seborrhoeic warts
  • Viral warts and verrucae (may need several treatments)
  • Small rodent ulcers and Bowen’s disease.
  • Skin tags
  • Histiocytoma’s.

It is not good for hairy moles or anything that might be skin cancer. It is too painful for all but the bravest child.
The doctor will not have time to deal with any other medical problems at a freezing clinic appointment.

Warts and Verrucae

These are caused by the human papilloma (wart) virus. No treatments are that good but the best is to reduce the amount of extra skin by applying a salicylic acid preparation such as Salactol (which can be bought from a chemist) and freezing once a month. This is exactly the same treatment offered by the hospital so there is no point in referring stubborn lesions.