How to Freeze a Wart

Опубликовал Admin
14-05-2021, 08:20
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If you’ve been dealing with a stubborn wart that just won’t seem to go away, it may be time to call in the big guns—liquid nitrogen. Cryotherapy, a.k.a. freezing a wart, is an effective way to take out most warts and won’t leave behind a mark or a scar. Liquid nitrogen can be really dangerous if it isn’t handled or used properly, but your doctor can apply it directly to your wart to get rid of it once and for all. To help you understand the process, we’ve put together a list of what you can do and expect when it comes to freezing warts with liquid nitrogen.

Choose an at-home cryotherapy kit to do it yourself.

  1. These kits don’t use liquid nitrogen, but they can be effective. While liquid nitrogen is the most effective way to freeze a wart, it can only be applied by a doctor. Over-the-counter wart freezing kits use a mixture of dimethyl ether and propane, which can still be effective. Pick up a kit from your local pharmacy and apply the treatment according to the directions on the packaging.
    • A few popular at-home wart freezing products include Dr. Scholl’s FreezeAway, Histofreezer, and Zim’s Max Freeze Gel.
    • It’s not safe to apply liquid nitrogen products meant for electronics on your warts. These products aren’t designed for medical use and you could really hurt yourself. Doctors use medical-grade liquid nitrogen and have the right skills and equipment to apply it safely.

Try a peeling wart treatment for young children.

  1. Cryotherapy can be pretty painful so it's best for teens and adults. Cryotherapy can include side effects such as irritation, soreness, and swelling. For children, you may want to choose an alternative at-home treatment, such as a peeling medication made with salicylic acid or trichloroacetic acid, which may be a little less painful.
    • Buy peeling treatments at your local pharmacy or order them online.
    • Some doctors may refuse to treat young children with cryotherapy.

Make a cryotherapy appointment with your doctor.

  1. They’ll be able to treat the wart with liquid nitrogen in their office. If your doctor doesn’t perform cryotherapy treatments, they may be able to refer you to another doctor or dermatologist who does. Call and schedule an appointment to have your doctor perform the procedure safely with the right equipment.

Let your doctor remove the top layer if necessary.

  1. Your doctor may need to remove extra skin from very thick warts. Especially thick and stubborn warts can form an outer layer that can prevent the freezing treatment from being fully effective. If that’s the case, your doctor will use a special instrument to scrape off the extra skin so the liquid nitrogen penetrate the wart.
    • Don’t try to scrape off the outer layer of the wart yourself. Your doctor has the experience and tools to do it safely.

Allow your doctor to apply the liquid nitrogen.

  1. They will use a probe, cotton swab, or spray so the application is very precise. Usually, a local anesthetic isn’t needed, but in some cases, your doctor may use it to numb the area. Then, they'll apply the liquid nitrogen directly to your wart and the area will start freezing immediately.
    • You should never apply liquid nitrogen yourself. It can cause serious burns and lead to permanent scarring. If you’re determined to try it anyway, dip a cotton swab into it and carefully apply a thin layer.

Expect some pain and a blister.

  1. The area may be sensitive for about 3 days. While you won’t feel the wart itself, you’ll feel a cold sensation followed by mild pain around your wart when your doctor applies the liquid nitrogen. A blister will likely form after a few hours. That’s good! Blistering is a natural part of the healing process.
    • Try not to break or rupture your blister.
    • Pain and irritation should clear up after about 3 days.

Clean the area if the blister breaks.

  1. Keeping the area clean prevents the wart virus from spreading. While your wart is healing after cryotherapy, the virus in the wart can still spread and potentially cause other warts to form. If your blister breaks, gently clean the area with soap and water to help prevent infections as well as the spread of the HPV virus.
    • All warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV).

Call your doctor if you have signs of an infection.

  1. Watch for a fever and bad-smelling or yellowish discharge. If red streaks form in the skin around your wart, you feel feverish, or the blister starts oozing yellowish discharge, you may have an infection. Get in touch with your doctor immediately if this happens. They may prescribe antibiotics to help knock out the infection.

Repeat the treatment 2-4 times.

  1. You'll need multiple treatments to get rid of the wart completely. Usually, 1 treatment isn’t enough to fully knock out a wart. Every 1 to 3 weeks, your doctor will need to re-treat the wart with liquid nitrogen to take care of it.
    • Usually, your doctor will wait until your skin has healed up from the last treatment before applying another one.

Talk to your doctor if the treatments don’t work.

  1. They may be able to recommend other treatment options. Sometimes, cryotherapy may not be effective. Luckily, there are other treatment options like burning the wart, cutting it out, or even removing it with a laser. Discuss which options are best with your doctor.
    • These treatments are usually reserved for warts that don’t respond to cryotherapy. Scarring is a possibility, so be sure to ask your doctor about that.

Tips

  • If you’re worried or unsure about cryotherapy treatments, you don’t have to do them! Most warts will actually clear up on their own. It just may take a little longer.

Warnings

  • While you may have heard of people using liquid nitrogen on their own skin, it’s a really bad idea. It can cause frostbite and cryogenic burns. If you do burn your skin with liquid nitrogen, seek immediate medical attention.
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