The Answer To Keratosis | Healing Power Of Nitrogen

The use of cryogens or cryotherapy, curettage, laser therapy, electrocautery or surgical excision all aid in treating keratoses – the first being the most popular. Studies reported that it is the second-most common procedure next to surgical procedures such as skin excision and it can easily be performed in the doctor’s office.

To help remove warts and keratoses, both unwanted types of skin lesions, cryotherapy uses extreme cold to render these lesions frozen, dried and readily peeled off from the skin. However, this treatment process is recommended only for superficial, flattened or slightly palpable skin lesions for it has not always been successful in removing thicker lesions.

So how does cryotherapy work? The arteries and veins, generally known as blood vessels, positioned at the injury site such as the lesions’ site, are constricted by cryotherapy. This blood vessel constriction, most commonly referred to as vasoconstriction in medicine, results to a reduction in the blood flow to the site. In the absence of adequate blood supply, nutrients such as oxygen, which are very much needed by the cells, will not reach the cells. This finally results to necrosis or cell death on the lesions.

Liquid nitrogen, carbon dioxide snow and DMEP or dimethyl ether and propane, are some of the substances utilized to generate extremely cold temperatures and which are termed as cryogens.   But the cryogen that doctors most commonly use is the liquid nitrogen due to its low boiling point and therefore, its efficiency in freezing off lesions.

Using any gadget that would intercept the doctor’s direct contact with liquid nitrogen such as a cotton bud, a spraygun or a probe, the physician commences the process by directly applying the liquid nitrogen onto the client’s skin. 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 lasts longer. Then when the cell’s contents leak out into its surroundings called the interstitial space, rest assured the cryotherapy has started the actual cell injury. Lastly, cell inflammation, characterized by skin redness, edema or swelling, pain and warmth, occurs as the cells’ final response to cell death.

There are generally slight adverse effects when the physician administers the treatment according to the guidelines. But complications are always a part of any procedure, be them low-risk or high-risk. To illustrate, prolonged freezing by the liquid nitrogen results to hypopigmentation or modification in the skin color, specifically a lighter hue.

Even though the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act does not consider liquid nitrogen hazardous, it still poses deleterious effects on humans who come in direct contact with it for this will bring about rapid freezing of the tissues or even tissue death. Exposure to liquid nitrogen can be through inhalation or direct contact. Inhalation effects are not as serious as the direct contact effects of liquid nitrogen unless monumental amounts of liquid nitrogen are spilled, therefore causing reduced oxygen levels. Workers involved in its transportation must therefore adhere stingenly to transportation safety protocols.

Liquid nitrogen can splash into one’s eyes especially when transferring it to another container. Direct contact with the skin can also occur unexpectedly.

Everyone must therefore adhere to safety protocols when dealing with liquid nitrogen. The goggles, face shields, masks, gloves, aprons and other encapsulating suits should always be your first line of defense from liquid nitrogen. In cases of leaks, any person not wearing any protective gear must leave the area until cleaning is completed. 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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