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Cryotherapy

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General Information

Cryotherapy is a ‘freezing’ treatment for skin lesions such as warts, verrucas or skin tags, as well as seborrheic keratoses (those warty brown lesions which can appear anywhere) and solar keratoses (patches of sun damage which are premalignant).

The idea is to freeze the abnormal lesion and a small amount of surrounding normal skin. When the frozen cells subsequently thaw out, the treated skin cells essentially die and those cells left regenerate themselves over time. This all happens on the surface layer of the skin called the epidermis.

Cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen, which drops the temperature of skin quickly to way below freezing. The nitrogen is applied through a ‘gun’ that sprays the liquid onto the skin and our doctors are highly experienced in its application.

After cryotherapy, blistering and redness often occur and the site can look as if it’s been burnt for a week or more. In time, new fresh skin cells grow and heal the area that was treated.

Pricing Information

Initially, our doctors will provide a consultation to discuss your concerns and agree a treatment plan. Should cryotherapy be a suitable option for you we will normally be able to provide the initial treatment there and then. We charge for an initial assessment consultation and for each cryotherapy treatment needed. You will only pay one consultation fee and subsequently a fee for each attendance for cryotherapy. Cryotherapy charges are linked to the number of lesions treated – 1-4 lesions, 5-10 lesions or 11+ lesions.  It is of course possible for your first treatment to be for 5-10 lesions and your next treatment to be for only 1-4 lesions as some of them will have resolved with only one treatment.

  Initial consultation   £125
  Cryotherapy for 1-4 lesions   £100
  Cryotherapy for 5-10 lesions   £300
  Cryotherapy for 11+ lesions   £440

 

Example of cryotherapy pathway:

Patient attends for consultation with two warts on middle finger. Initial assessment consultation for diagnosis and guidance regarding treatment options. Patient opts for same day cryotherapy. CHARGE is £125 + £100 = £225. A follow-up at 4 weeks is suggested if lesion not fully resolved. The patient attends for a second treatment to one wart. CHARGE is £100.


Conditions Treated:


Warts

Treat today with cryotherapy

Warts are noncancerous skin growths found on different parts of the body caused by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection. The virus spreads through direct contact with an infected person. Warts vary in shape and size based on their type, and can sometimes be associated with pain. Most warts are self-resolving but it can take many months or years.

Quick Facts

Non-cancerous skin growths caused by infection with HPV
Very common (More than 1 million cases per year in UK)
Transmitted through direct contact
Genital warts may be prevented by vaccine
Rarely requires lab test or imaging
Treatable by a medical professional
Can last several months or years

Symptoms

Warts vary in shape and size based on type. They are sometimes associated with pain. They may appear as:
  • Small grainy skin growths
  • Bumps with rough or smooth surface
  • Flat areas
  • Growths with dark dots in the centre

Treatments

Most warts are self-resolving but it may take a very long time and some over the counter treatment may help. Cryotherapy is a recognised and successful treatment for warts.
Self-care
  • Avoid touching or pricking the warts as they are contagious.
  • Do not share your clothes, utensils, objects.
  • Avoid physical or sexual contact when you have warts.

Causes

Common warts are caused by an infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV). More than 100 types of HPV exist, but only a few cause warts on your hands. Other types of HPV are more likely to cause warts on your feet and other areas of your skin and mucous membranes. Most types of HPV cause relatively harmless conditions such as common warts, while others may cause serious disease such as cancer of the cervix.
You can get warts from skin-to-skin contact with people who have warts. If you have warts, you can spread the virus to other places on your own body. You can also get the wart virus indirectly by touching something that another person’s wart touched, such as a towel or exercise equipment. The virus usually spreads through breaks in your skin, such as a hangnail or a scrape. Biting your nails also can cause warts to spread on your fingertips and around your nails.

Verrucas

Treat today with cryotherapy

Verrucas are warts on the soles of your feet. They may have tiny black dots in the centre – these are where blood has clotted in tiny blood vessels on the surface of your skin. They may be painful when you put weight on them. Verrucas tend to look quite flat because of the pressure put on them. Sometimes, if you have clusters of verrucas, they can fuse together. These are called mosaic warts.

Quick Facts

Non-cancerous skin growths caused by infection with HPV
Very common
Transmitted through direct contact
Rarely requires lab test or imaging
Treatable by a medical professional
Can last several months or years

Symptoms

Verrucas vary in shape and size based on its types. They are sometimes associated with pain. They may appear flat or raised on the sole of the foot or toes and often have dots within them.

Treatments

Most verrucas are self-resolving but it can take months or years. Certain home remedies or over the counter treatments may be helpful. Cryotherapy is a recognised and successful treatment for verrucas.
Self-care
  • Don’t share your towels, shoes or socks.
  • Wear flip-flops in communal showers.
  • Cover your verruca with a waterproof plaster or verruca sock when you go swimming.
  • Don’t scratch or pick your verruca as it’s more likely to spread.
  • If you use nail files or pumice stones on your verruca, don’t share these or use on other areas of your skin.

Remember – there’s no reason why you can’t continue to take part in activities, such as sports or swimming, if you have a wart or verruca. But do follow all the advice above, to avoid passing the virus onto other people.

Causes

Verrucas are caused by infection of your skin with the human papilloma virus (HPV). They can spread from person to person by direct skin contact or by contact with floors or surfaces contaminated with the virus. Although verrucas are contagious, it’s thought that the risk of catching them is fairly low. You’re more likely to get infected if your skin is damaged or wet, so infection can be linked to swimming pools and communal showers. You can also infect yourself. If you scratch a verruca, the viral particles may spread to other areas of your skin.

You’re more likely to develop verrucas if you have a weakened immune system. This might be because you have a medical condition or are taking medicines that suppress your immune system.


Skin Tags

Treat today with cryotherapy

A condition characterised by painless non-cancerous skin growth attached to skin by a small thin stalk.

Quick Facts

Common (More than 20,000 cases per year in UK)
Doesn’t require lab test or imaging
Treatable by a medical professional
Can last several months-years
Common as a result of friction between the skin and clothing or due to hormonal changes in pregnancy. Characterised by growth on the skin especially on the neck, underarms or upper chest.

Symptoms

Commonly noted symptoms are:
  • Growth on the skin which can become irritated upon being rubbed against clothes
  • Darkening of the skin
  • Irritation and redness due to bleeding
  • Necrosis (death of skin tissue)

Treatments

Cryotherapy
Excision

Causes

Researchers don’t know exactly what causes skin tags to grow. It is believed that friction may lead to the development of skin tags. The growths commonly occur in areas where skin constantly rubs against clothing or other skin, such as near your bra strap or in a fold of skin.
Other factors that may contribute to the formation of skin tags include:
  • the presence of certain forms of the human papilloma virus (HPV)
  • changes in hormones during pregnancy
  • insulin resistance, which is often seen in people with diabetes
Skin tags also appear to run in families, and researchers suspect that genetics might play a role in the development of the condition.

Freeze seborrheic keratosis

Seborrheic Keratoses

Treat today with cryotherapy

A seborrheic keratosis is a common benign skin growth; they are often brown and warty and have a ‘stuck-on’ appearance. Most people will have at least one in their lifetime. They tend to appear in mid-adulthood and their frequency increases with age. They are harmless and don’t require treatment, but you can have them removed if they bother you.

Quick Facts

Common benign skin growth, similar to a mole
Most people will have at least one in their lifetime
About 30% of people have at least one by the age of 40, and about 75% by the age of 70
They tend to appear in mid-adulthood and their frequency increases with age
They are harmless and don’t necessarily require treatment
You can have them removed if they bother you by our doctor with cryotherapy

Symptoms

People sometimes report:
Itching
Irritation from friction
Bleeding
If these symptoms annoy you, you may want to have the growth removed

Treatments

You should always have new skin growths clinically diagnosed to make sure they aren’t cancerous. Different kinds of skin growths can be hard to tell apart from each other.
If it is clearly a seborrheic keratosis, you might want to have it removed if it becomes itchy or irritated or you don’t like the look of it.
How is seborrheic keratosis removed?
Cryotherapy. We use liquid nitrogen to freeze the growth. This will cause it to fall off within a few days or weeks. Cryotherapy is a common choice when the diagnosis is clear and there is no need to preserve a sample of the growth for biopsy. One possible side effect is that the skin where the growth was may lose some of its pigment and look lighter.

Causes

We don’t know exactly why these growths occur, but we can look at the circumstances that often go along with it. The first is age: seborrheic keratoses are especially common in adults over 50, and they tend to multiply as people get older. Some studies suggest that sun exposure may increase their occurrence. They also appear more frequently in families, which suggests that genetics may play a role. They are not viral or bacterial. They don’t spread and they aren’t contagious.

Seborrheic keratoses usually grow slowly and may develop their texture gradually over time.