Warts Treatment Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy wart removal is a very common treatment for warts that works by freezing the warts with a very cold substance, such as liquid nitrogen.

Although home wart freezing kits are available, cryotherapy wart removal is most often done—and is most successful—in a doctor’s office. Cryotherapy is an effective treatment for warts on the hands and feet, and may even be used to treat warts on the face and in the genital area.

How Cryotherapy for Warts Works

Some doctors may recommend home salicylic treatment for warts before beginning the use of cryotherapy for wart removal. Check with your physician to make sure you understand what to do before your appointment for cryotherapy wart removal.

Your doctor will most likely follow a specific cryotherapy procedure, including:

  • Cleaning your warts and the area around them
  • Paring off the skin on the surface of your warts
  • Applying a cooling agent—with a temperature of minus 320 degrees Fahrenheit—to the affected area.

Not surprisingly, this can sting. How painful is wart freezing? That depends on how sensitive your skin is; doctors often describe the discomfort as moderate and short-term. Local anesthetics can be used to minimize pain.

A typical cryotherapy treatment for warts takes from 15 to 20 minutes, with the actual wart freezing lasting only up to a minute. Shortly after treatment, a blister commonly forms in the treated area; keep the blister covered to prevent infection and the spread of warts. Although you may feel some discomfort for a few days, you should be able to participate in all your usual activities.

Multiple Treatments for Wart Removal

Some warts might only require one dose of cryotherapy, particularly if they are not on the palms or feet.

However, it is quite common for warts to require one to four treatments of cryotherapy for full wart removal. Most doctors recommend waiting one to three weeks between appointments; thicker and larger warts will require more treatments.

Once your warts have been removed, the affected area usually heals completely within one to two weeks.

Pros and Cons of Cryotherapy Wart Removal

Benefits of using cryotherapy for warts include:

  • Fast healing
  • Little or no scarring
  • Quick procedure in a doctor’s office.

Cryotherapy wart removal may have some drawbacks, too, such as:

  • Expense
  • Possible scarring
  • Potential pain
  • Slight risk of infection.

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any signs of infection after cryotherapy for warts, such as:

  • Increased pain
  • Fever
  • Pus discharge from the blister
  • Red streaks around the treated area. 

Resources

American Academy of Family Physicians. (2009). Warts: Removal by freezing. Retrieved June 13, 2010, from: http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/common/skin/treatment/105.html.

Healing Natural Oils. (2007). Warts