Cryosurgery (sometimes referred to as cryotherapy) is used on a number of different diagnoses, and the most common are the pre-cancers called actinic keratosis, although it can also be used to treat warts, wisdom spots called seborrheic keratosis, and a whole host of other conditions.

Cryosurgery uses liquid nitrogen to freeze skin lesions. The liquid nitrogen is often applied with a “cryo gun” which sprays a thin cold mist onto the skin, resulting in a white, frost-like appearance on the surface of the skin. Cryosurgery may also be applied with a cotton-tipped swab or other methods. The extremely cold temperature of liquid nitrogen kills the skin cells on the topmost layer. Cryosurgery may be mildly painful, particularly when applied to the face, but anesthesia is rarely if ever necessary.

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