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Cryotherapy Wart Removal

AMBULATORY CARE:

What you need to know about cryotherapy wart removal:

Cryotherapy wart removal is a procedure to remove your wart by freezing it with liquid nitrogen.

How to prepare for cryotherapy wart removal:

  • Your healthcare provider will tell you how to prepare for this procedure.
  • You may need to treat your wart at home for several days before your procedure:
    • Clean your wart with soap and water.
    • Apply 17% salicylic acid gel on your wart. You can instead cover the wart with 40% salicylic acid pad cut slightly larger than the wart.
    • Leave the pad or the gel on your wart for up to 24 hours. If the pad comes off during the day, you can leave the area uncovered. Your provider may tell you to keep the pad on only at night.

What will happen during cryotherapy wart removal:

  • Your healthcare provider will remove any dead skin on your wart.
  • He or she will then use a cotton swab, spray, or cryoprobe (long, pointed device) to apply the liquid nitrogen to your wart. It may take up to 60 seconds for the wart to freeze.
  • The frozen tissue will then be allowed to thaw.
  • Your provider may apply liquid nitrogen again after a few minutes.

What to expect after cryotherapy wart removal:

  • You may have pain and burning in the treated area for 1 to 2 days after your procedure.
  • You may have redness and swelling, or you may develop a blister in the treated area.
  • A scab will form in the treated area and may take up to 2 weeks to fall off.
  • Your healthcare provider will tell you how to care for the treated area as it heals.

Risks of cryotherapy wart removal:

A scar may form after the treated area heals. Cryotherapy may cause the treated skin to be lighter or darker than the skin around it. The wart may not go away or it may come back. You may need to return to see your healthcare provider for more cryotherapy treatments.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have pain or swelling that gets worse, or does not go away.

Call your doctor or dermatologist if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have a blister or open sore after treatment that does not heal.
  • Your wound is red, swollen, and draining pus.
  • Your wart does not go away completely or it returns.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Care for the treated area as directed:

  • Wash your hands before and after you touch your wart.
    Handwashing
  • Keep your treated skin covered for as long as your healthcare provider directs. You may be told to protect the skin from direct sunlight.

Prevent another wart:

  • Do not scratch or pick at your wart. Do not touch someone else's wart.
  • Do not walk barefoot in public places. Wear shower shoes or sandals in warm, damp areas. This includes shower stalls, swimming pool areas, and locker rooms.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry. Use foot powder between your toes and on your feet after you wash and dry them. Change socks often to avoid damp feet. If your shoes are damp from sweat, set them in a place where they can dry out before you wear them again.
  • Do not share or reuse items. Examples include nail files, pumice stones, socks, or towels. Clean these items with hot soapy water before you use them again.

Follow up with your doctor or dermatologist as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.