What is CryoPen?
The CryoPen emits a pressurised, super fine jet of nitrous oxide from its tip, which allows our clinician to work with precision that is millimetre perfect. The tissue is destroyed by freezing the intercellular fluid, this forms ice crystals which break the cell membrane, thereby destroying the tissue we are wanting to remove. That means that healthy tissue remains untouched. Procedures usually take just 5 to 25 seconds, so you can be in and out of the clinic quickly.
What happens during a CryoPen treatment?
The super fine applicator is held closely to the skin imperfection and liquid nitrogen sprayed onto the distorted, unhealthy tissue only. This is usually from 1-30 seconds, depending on the size and depth. The legion is then allowed to thaw and return to its natural colour. The process may be repeated in the same session if required.
Does it hurt?
It is virtually painless. The accuracy of CryoPen means that healthy skin around the site of the lesion is less likely to be affected, and therefore it is not painful. Treatment is generally very well tolerated, even with those with a low pain threshold. The sensation is similar to a stinging nettle on the skin when the nitrous oxide reaches the bottom of the area, but this vanishes quickly. There might be a little residual stinging for a few minutes after treatment.
The area will be slightly itchy for about ten minutes. Occasionally a blister might form and persist for a few hours.
This treatment should not be confused with traditional Cryotherapy, which can be very painful as it usually hits healthy tissue.
What is the aftercare?
Aftercare is minimal as there is no wound or raw area. However, a small blister is not uncommon in the first 24 hours, this is reabsorbed by the skin quickly. The lesion will dry up, assume a darker colour and slough off in 1 to 2 weeks. It is very important not to pick at the area as this will increase healing time.
What is the expected healing process?
Healing occurs from 1-6 weeks depending on the depth of and size of the lesion. Lesions usually assume a darker colour (this is the dead cells), as the skin regenerates underneath it will slough or flake away.
Are there any side effects?
Cryotherapy is non-invasive and relatively low risk.
There are a few side effects that may occur as a result of treatment, including:
- Temporary pigmentary changes (hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation) in the treatment site. If this happens skin colour normally returns after a few months.
• Temporary loss of sensation (particularly in areas where nerves lie close to the surface of the skin, on fingers, wrist, area behind the ear) Reports show that normal sensitivity returns after a few months.
• Blister in the treatment area – this will be reabsorbed by the skin.
Side effects are very rare, but please discuss any concerns you have with your clinician.
Will it leave a scar?
Generally, no. Cryosurgery with Cryopen preserves the tissue matrix which is relatively cold resistant and therefore allows for proper cosmetic healing with minimal scarring. This will of course depend on your skin type, and how well you follow the aftercare advice.
Total Treatment Time: 15 minutes