Post-treatment with Liquid Nitrogen

Dr. Aouthmany, MD, FAAD
Board Certified Dermatologist

Post-treatment with Liquid Nitrogen
What to Expect Over the Next Few Weeks 
  • During Treatment - Area being treated will sting, burn, and then possibly itch. 
  • Immediately After Treatment - Area will be red, sore, and swollen. 
  • Next Day - Blister or blood blister has formed, tenderness starts to subside. Apply a Band-Aid if necessary.   Blisters are best left alone, but can be burst with a sterile needle if they are uncomfortable.  For blisters caused by wart treatment, see below.  
  • 7 Days - Surface is dark red/brown and scab-like. Apply Vaseline (petroleum jelly) or Vaniply or Aquaphor or DML Forte, or Cerave ointment
  • 2 to 4 Weeks - The surface starts to peel off. This may be encouraged gently during bathing, when the scab is softened. 
  • No makeup should be applied until area is fully healed.
How to Take Care of the Skin after Cryosurgery 
  • The goal is to achieve a blister. This means, most commonly, patients will have a blister form following treatment. Sometimes, the blister is so thin that it can't be seen and may have minimal swelling (for example, treatment of actinic keratosis). Occasionally, a blood blister forms that can be quite dramatic but is harmless (for example: treatment of warts or seborrheic keratosis).
    • WARTS: usually will blister with blood and be quite dramatic.  
      • REMOVE the blister as this contains wart particles.  A crater will form as a result of blister removal and fill in over a month.  
      • Wrapping treated areas with Duct Tape will cause a slow irritation dermatitis that may help with wart treatment.  May use the Duct Tape to help remove the blister.
      • Leaving the blister will let the wart settle back into the area.  
  • Rarely, the blister may become infected. When this happens, the blister becomes unusually tender, the fluid becomes cloudy, and the redness around it becomes more extensive (and may even form streaks). If this happens, contact our office. 
  • Some lesions, especially those on the face, may leave a slight pale discoloration.
  • True scarring, involving deeper layers of the skin is unlikely.