As indicated in the Clinical Evidence Handbook(1), warts constitute one of the most prevalent viral infections around the world. Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes this infection in both men and women. In comparison to men, women are believed to be more vulnerable to this condition.
Cryotherapy is believed to be an effective treatment(2) to remove warts. How effective is it? What are the risks associated with this treatment? Read on to find out the answers to these questions.
Did You Know
- You can easily burn up to 800 calories in just a few minutes in a cryotherapy chamber?
- 25% of the world’s population has warts?
Why Cryotherapy for Warts Treatment
Cryotherapy is a standard treatment option that uses liquid nitrogen for the removal of warts. In comparison to other treatments like salicylic acid, it is more effective and result-oriented. The best part about this therapy-based treatment is that it produces quicker results than other medical procedures.
[Also Read: How to Get Rid of Warts Naturally]
The Process to Remove Warts Using Cryotherapy
You can receive this treatment as a part of your regular medical care to eliminate the small yet hard growth on the skin. It is a simple and straightforward process which won’t take a long time. Usually, it does not take more than a minute to conclude.
While this treatment can be a little painful, the lesser duration of time compensates for it. After freezing the affected area, a doctor uses a knife to trim a wart into the proper size. This depends on a recipient’s condition of warts. Also, local anesthetic may be used to induce numbness. The primary objective of using anesthesia is to reduce the discomfort of a person throughout the treatment.
Depending on the condition of a patient, multiple cryotherapy treatment sessions may be necessary to ensure the elimination of warts on the skin. It usually takes one to four sessions with a gap of one to three weeks between two sessions.
[Also Read: Tea Tree Oil for Warts Removal]
Things to Consider
Cryotherapy could take a long duration to conclude, the pain arising out of it may linger for up to three days. After that, one goes through a healing process which may last between one to two weeks.
It is vital to clean blisters quickly as and when they break. Plus, it is also necessary to avoid any form of physical contact with the wart fluid as it can spread the infection to the other parts of the body from the affected region.
How to Use Cryotherapy At Home
One can also try cryotherapy at home. This method of using the therapy-based treatment is called “at-home cryotherapy for warts on hands.” There are multiple over-the-counter products available for this purpose. A kit for cryotherapy at home involves a combination of propane and dimethyl ether instead of liquid nitrogen.
One can try cryotherapy at home if warts appear on the skin of hands and feet. However, using this treatment option at home is not recommended in case warts have appeared in sensitive areas such as genitals.
Just to ensure safety, it is mandatory to follow the instructions given on the package of the kit. If a wart breaks up or bleeds, ensure to clean it immediately to avoid it from spreading onto to different parts of the body.
[Also Read: Treat Warts on Hands]
Is It Safe to Use Cryotherapy for the Treatment of Warts
Cryotherapy does not pose any risk as long as one follows the procedure correctly. The chances of scarring are also minimal if done carefully. However, the risk factors linked to this therapy depend solely on the condition of a patient.
Some warts may necessitate extensive freezing. In such cases, the skin might be damaged. It may lead to the formation of scars that may take a long time to heal.
Though minimal, one cannot rule out the possibility of developing an infection due to this therapy. The symptoms of such an infection may include the following:
- Redness, swelling, and tenderness accompanied by pain in the effected/surrounding area
- Extension of red streaks from the area
- Discharge of pus
The possibility of infection, along with the symptoms, is a rare case. Thus, cryotherapy is an effective treatment for the elimination of warts.
Cryotherapy is believed to be an effective option for people suffering from warts and wish to endure short-term pain, which is moderate by nature. It may take multiple sessions to treat warts if they are thick and substantial. You can undergo the treatment either in a doctor’s office or at their residence. The best part about receiving it is that it has fewer chances of scarring.
1. Can One Treat Cryotherapy for Warts on Hands at Home?
Yes, one can opt for home cryotherapy if one is sure about the precautions that need to be followed. However, this procedure is not recommended for those who develop warts in the genital region of the body.
2. Are Warts Still Contagious Even After Freezing?
After the cryotherapy treatment, the skin may get blisters or irritated. Later, it will slough off. The virus is dead with the skin. So it isn’t contagious.
In the worst-case scenario, one can develop a skin infection with symptoms like redness, fever, the formation of reddish streaks, pain, and so on. This is generally a rare possibility which may occur either due to improper execution of the procedure or an extensive application of freezing for larger-sized warts.