What is Cryotherapy?


Cryotherapy, sometimes called just cryotherapy, is the general or local application of very low temperatures to various tissue lesions in the body. The most common use of this word refers to the clinical treatment, more commonly referred to as cryotherapy or cryoablation, on cancer patients. This type of treatment involves the use of high temperatures to destroy malignant tumors with or without a hand privation process (also known as liposuction). Cryotherapy is now used in the treatment of other skin conditions such as acne scars, warts and other benign skin growths; it can also be administered to alleviate pain associated with arthritis, sports injuries and menstrual disorders.

During cryotherapy, a liquid nitrogen solution is injected into the lesion. This cryogenic agent, usually frozen from liquid nitrogen at room temperature, then freezes the target area, solidifying it into a block that can then be taken through the airway by a physician or technician. Although the procedure is done primarily in the dental and medical field, patients may require this procedure for many different conditions, including dry skin cell replacement and stretch mark removal. As with any invasive procedure, potential complications may include excessive scarring, infection, allergic reaction to any of the local anesthetic agents, blood clots, or even death. With proper pre-operative and post-operative care, most patients may avoid these risks.

For those patients that are not a good candidate for cryotherapy due to a severe case of skin disease, or if the preferred treatment would be surgery, the use of cool compresses may be able to accomplish the same objective. Using cold compresses while in the recovery period will help to reduce discomfort and swelling. Patients should remember that the temperatures achieved through cryotherapy are very low; therefore, it is important to keep normal body temperatures by maintaining adequate water intake, regular exercise, and a well balanced diet. Once you have experienced the benefits, you will quickly discover the pain and discomfort disappearing as the treated lesions harden and heal. In the end, once your desired results are achieved, there will be no regrets, but only one very important thing to remember – always wear gloves when treating any area of the body.

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