A warts is usually a small, rough growth, typically on a human’s hands or feet but often other locations, which can resemble a solid blister. They are caused by a viral infection, specifically by one of the many types of human papillomavirus (HPV). There are as many as 10 varieties of warts; the most common considered being mostly harmless. It is possible to get warts from others; they are contagious and usually enter the body in an area of broken skin. They naturally disappear after a few months but can last for years and can recur.
There are many methods of treating warts, one of them, being freezing the warts with very cold substance normally liquid nitrogen. The whole process is known as Cryotherapy. Cryotherapy is a standard treatment for warts and can be done in a doctor’s office. The liquid nitrogen application usually takes less than a minute.
Your doctor may pare the skin over a warts before applying liquid nitrogen. Cryotherapy is painful. A numbing local anesthetic is usually not necessary but may be used in some cases. Your doctor applies the liquid nitrogen to the warts using a probe or a cotton swab. Liquid nitrogen can also be sprayed directly on the warts.
How does Cryotherapy work?
If you can damage and kill these blood vessels by freezing them, the warts will die. Eventually it will fall off. Liquid nitrogen is cold enough to bring about this localized freezing. We want to restrict the tissue damage to the smallest possible area. The warts will be raised slightly, redden, and you may feel a slight burning sensation and a blister will develop a few hours after freezing the warts. Make sure not to break the blister, the exposed tissue is likely you be infected and causes the warts to grow back.
There is a chance that some infection might occur during the process. Some signs of infection include increased pain, swelling, redness, tenderness, or heat, Red streaks extending from the area, Discharge of pus and high fever.
Cryotherapy can be painful and expensive but usually does not scar. It’s most painful where the skin is thicker e.g. palms and soles. Pain from cryotherapy can last up to 3 days. Healing is generally quick (7 to 14 days) with little or no scarring. Take multiple treatments, especially for thick, larger warts.
Always seek the services of your dermatologist for this procedure because of the minor pain and discomfort involved.
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