Liquid nitrogen is used to remove abnormal (precancerous) and benign (noncancerous) skin growths, such as warts.
This treatment is known as cryotherapy or cryosurgery.
For skin growths, we apply liquid nitrogen to the skin with a spray canister or a cotton-tipped swab. Liquid nitrogen is extremely cold (approximately minus 328°F or minus 200°C). You’ll feel stinging or burning for a few minutes when it’s applied.
- A blister forms on the area where liquid nitrogen contacts your skin.
- A scab forms over the blister. It usually falls off within 2 to 4 weeks.
Your skin may be tender for a few days after treatment.
The treated area may be permanently scarred and:
- Lighter than normal skin color (hypopigmentation)
- Darker than normal skin color (hyperpigmentation)