The Answer To Seborrheic Keratosis – Cryotherapy

The Answer To Seborrheic Keratosis – Cryotherapy

When you arrange a doctor’s appointment, one can easily receive this procedure ranked the second-most commonly utilized skin-lesion-removing procedure as research has found.

During the process of cryotherapy, extreme cold is applied to a specific area of the body to freeze off bothersome skin lesions including warts, actinic and seborrheic keratosis. This regimen is recommended only for flat or slightly-raised lesions.

Now, let us try to understand the mechanism of cryotherapy! Cryotherapy constricts the blood vessels at the site of the injury or in the case of keratoses, at the lesions’ site. This vasoconstriction (the medical term for constriction of the blood vessels) reduces the blood flow into the site. In the absence of adequate blood supply, nutrients such as oxygen, which are very much needed by the cells, will not reach them. In the end, the cells then cease to exist – a process called necrosis.

There are a few kinds of cryogens, substances used to obtain very low temperatures, namely, liquid nitrogen, carbon dioxide snow and DMEP or dimethyl ether and propane. Due to its effectiveness in removing skin lesions, mainly because of its low boiling point, most doctors prefer to use liquid nitrogen when administering cryotherapy.

Using a gadget that would prevent the doctor’s direct contact with liquid nitrogen such as a cotton-tipped applicator, a spraygun or a probe, the physician starts the process by directly applying the liquid nitrogen onto the patient’s lesion. Immediately after this, the liquid nitrogen evaporates within a minute once heat transfer from the skin to the cryogen happens. Following this brief freezing period is the thawing process which persists longer. This is the time that the actual cell injury starts to occur – when the intracellular contents begin to leak out. To conclude the process, the client’s skin will exhibit signs of inflammation – redness, swelling, pain and warmth – signaling the cells’ decompensation.

No one should fear cryotherapy since it is a generally safe procedure as long as treatment protocols are followed rigidly. But as with other treatment methods, one cannot guarantee there will be no potential complications. Such is the aftermath of prolonged freezing by the liquid nitrogen which shows as a whiter skin color of the area treated than the surrounding skin, commonly referred to as hypopigmentation.

Due to its dangerous effect on skin exposed through direct contact, liquid nitrogen is still considered highly dangerous despite not making it under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act’s list of hazardous materials. There are two types of exposure to liquid nitrogen: inhalation and direct contact. Inhalation effects are not as serious as the direct contact effects of liquid nitrogen unless great amounts of liquid nitrogen are spilled, therefore causing reduced oxygen levels. Workers involved in its transportation must therefore take great care to practice transportation safety protocols.

Eye contact with liquid nitrogen can occur during its transfer to smaller containers. The skin can also be accidentally subjected to the dangers of liquid nitrogen.

Therefore, for both the medical practitioners and the laypersons alike: practice utmost safety when handling liquid nitrogen. Always wear goggles, face shields or masks, gloves, aprons or other encapsulating suits when handling any objects with liquid nitrogen or liquid nitrogen itself. People without the first line of defense from liquid nitrogen should leave an area exposed to leaks. In cases of direct contact, soak the skin in water that has a temperature of 41-46 degrees Celsius then consult a doctor.


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