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Quick Facts

  • Method of Action:

    Destruction

  • Efficacy Range:

    Low for Plantar Warts, moderate for others

  • Pain During Treatment:

    Moderate

  • Recurrence Rate:

    High

  • Pain Post Treatment:

    Moderate

  • Patient Satisfaction:

    Low to moderate

  • Number of Treatments Required:

    2-10+

More About Cryotherapy

The use of extreme cold therapy to freeze and kill the cells.

  • How does this treatment work?

    Cryotherapy works by applying extreme cold to the wart itself, effectively killing the keratinocytes within the hypothermic range. The primary cooling agent used in most clinical settings is Liquid Nitrogen, applied directly to the wart with a swab or a spray gun.

  • How effective is this treatment?

    The HPV virus itself can be stored in liquid nitrogen for research purposes, meaning that cryotherapy does not kill the virus itself, which is why the treatment has relatively poor resolution rates and high recurrence rates.

  • What can patients expect when receiving this treatment?

    Treatment Protocol:

    • The podiatrist may trim the wart with blade prior to treatment
    • Treatment every 2 weeks over a 2-3 month period (4-6 treatments)
    • Traditional Freeze: Cryotherapy applied until the wart has a 2mm white halo around it
    • Aggressive Typical Freeze: Maintains white halo for 5-20 seconds

    Pain:

    • Causes stabbing pain during the procedure – Not used as frequently on children
    • Pain lasts for 3-4 days post treatment

    Post Procedural:

    • Blistering of the skin is common a few hours after treatment
    • A scab will form over the treated area and must not be agitated
    • Patient may shower and may return

    Risk(s):

    • Little risk of scarring
    • If thick and requires multiple treatments, there may be nerve damage
    • Small chance of infection
    • Hyper/Hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin)
    • Recurrence
  • Where can I receive this treatment?

    Most podiatrists and dermatologists will have the ability to treat with cryotherapy due to the low cost of liquid nitrogen.