Cryosurgery is the process of destroying a skin cancer lesion by freezing it with liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen is applied to the lesion using a cotton applicator stick or an aerosol spray.

The skin is first numbed with a local anesthetic. The liquid nitrogen is applied or sprayed onto the cancer and the immediate surrounding tissue. The application may be repeated. An antibiotic dressing may be applied to the wound.

Cryosurgery is often used to destroy precancerous skin lesions such as actinic keratoses, but is rarely used alone to treat skin cancer.

Cryosurgery is used more often for precancerous growths such as actinic keratoses than for skin cancer.

Cryosurgery is done to destroy skin cancer if:

• It is the first time a skin cancer has developed in that specific area

• Multiple skin cancers lesions are present

• You have a bleeding disorder

• You cannot, or do not want to, use another procedure to remove a skin cancer


• Scarring

• Pain or stinging

• A longer recovery time than other procedures that remove skin cancers

• Infection

If you are interested in learning more about cryosurgery you should contact a cosmetic dermatologist in your area today.

Have specific questions?

All Article Categories

Before & After Photos

Suggested Doctors

Recently Asked Questions