The Answer To Keratosis | Healing Power Of Nitrogen

Cryotherapy, also commonly known as cryosurgery, is one of the several treatment modalities for keratoses – along with curettage, laser therapy, electrocautery or even a surgical procedure. According to research reports, it follows surgical procedures in the ranking of procedures most commonly carried out to remove skin lesions maybe due to its availability even in the doctor’s office.

To help get rid off warts and keratoses, both annoying 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.

Are you speculating how cryotherapy works? Cryotherapy constricts the blood vessels at the site of the injury or in the case of keratoses, at the lesions’ site. This blood vessel constriction, most commonly alluded to as vasoconstriction in medicine, results to a reduction in the blood flow to the site. Because of lesser blood supply, the cells cannot receive the nutrients that they normally receive from the blood including oxygen. This finally results to necrosis or cell death on the lesions.

There are a few types of cryogens, substances used to obtain very low temperatures, namely, liquid nitrogen, carbon dioxide snow and DMEP or dimethyl ether and propane.   But amongst the three, liquid nitrogen is the most commonly used cryogen by physicians primarily because of its low boiling point, making it a highly effective cryogen.

Using any tool that would intercept the doctor’s direct contact with liquid nitrogen such as a cotton-tipped applicator, a spraygun or a probe, the physician commences the process by directly applying the liquid nitrogen onto the client’s skin. Then, the heat from the skin instantly transfers to the liquid nitrogen making it evaporate quickly, usually within a minute or so. After this brief period of freezing comes the thawing of the lesions. This eventually results to leaking out of the cell’s contents which signal the beginning of the definite cell injury. Lastly, cell inflammation, characterized by skin redness, edema or swelling, pain and warmth, occurs as the cells’ final response to cell death.

No one should fear cryotherapy since it is a generally safe procedure as long as treatment protocols are followed stringenly. But like many other procedures, complications can and will arise. One of this is hypopigmentation, or the loss of skin color due to a reduction in melanin production, which is the result of deep or prolonged freezing by the liquid nitrogen.

Due to its dangerous effect on people exposed through direct contact, liquid nitrogen is still considered highly dangerous despite not making it under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act’s list of hazardous materials. People are exposed to liquid nitrogen either through inhalation or through direct contact. Inhalation effects are not that toxic unless a significant amount of liquid nitrogen is spilled, thereby reducing oxygen levels prompting the need for respirators. Workers involved in its transportation must therefore adhere strictly to transportation safety protocols.

Liquid nitrogen can splash into one’s eyes especially when transferring it to another repository. The skin can also be accidentally subjected to the dangers of liquid nitrogen.

Everyone must therefore adhere to safety protocols when dealing with liquid nitrogen. Always wear goggles, face shields or masks, gloves, aprons or other encapsulating suits when handling any objects with liquid nitrogen or liquid nitrogen itself. When leaks are inevitable, remove anyone unprotected from possible exposure. And if liquid nitrogen ever comes in contact with the skin, and not during a cryotherapy, the frozen skin should be soaked in water that is 41-46 degrees Celsius in temperature before immediately consulting a doctor.

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