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Liquid Nitrogen at Home

From the Colorado Dermatology Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
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Video Transcript

Here’s another daily tip from your friendly local dermatologist!

Let’s talk about liquid nitrogen or cryosurgery, and let’s talk about doing it at home. Because there are these devices where you can go the local drug store and get a “cryo-freeze” or liquid nitrogen and then you’re treating your own warts or whatever at home. I do not like this at all, and I don’t like this because sometimes people are treating things that have not been properly diagnosed by your local dermatologist. In fact, I had a case years ago where a gentleman had been freezing a melanoma skin cancer with the stuff over the counter and he came in and showed it to me and honestly by the grace of God I decided to biopsy it because all I could see was a red, irritated area that had none of the signs of melanoma except for a little bit of brown in one area and thank goodness I biopsied it. Otherwise he’d be dead right now. So guys, please if you’re gonna use these things, please make sure you have the right diagnosis for the right lesion by a local dermatologist, and then if you want to treat them over the counter, make sure the dermatologist gives you the instructions so that you’re doing it properly. The last thing we want to do is have you treat something with liquid nitrogen that’s going to change its whole appearance so that we don’t diagnose it properly and remember, most all of what dermatologists do is look at things, and if the physical appearance is off, then we can’t make a proper diagnosis. I have an old expression that I say in dermatology and that’s; “when all else fails, look at the patient” and you know, there’s pun obviously intended in that. But if our looking at the patient is messed up by something that you’re doing at home before a proper diagnosis is made, not a lot of good happens with that.

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