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What Should I Expect from Liquid Nitrogen Wart Removal?

Wart removal with liquid nitrogen.
Liquid nitrogen should be handled by a medical professional.
Freezing warts with liquid nitrogen often causes blisters to form where the treatment was performed.
Warts on a hand.
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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 October 2014
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Wart treatment sometimes involves cryosurgery, which is a liquid nitrogen wart removal process. It is performed by a medical professional and takes very little time, but the process can be painful and it may take several days or even weeks for the affected area to heal completely. The healing time often depends on where on the body the wart has developed. The concept behind this method of wart removal focuses on freezing the skin to develop a blister underneath the wart. This prevents the wart from feeding on blood vessels and essentially kills it as a result. In some cases, a medical professional may choose to cut out parts of the dead skin around the wart after freezing rather than letting the process work slowly on its own.

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You should expect to have several visits the your healthcare provider when being treated with liquid nitrogen to remove a wart. The liquid nitrogen may need to be applied several times before the wart is completely killed off, and the medical professional may choose to cut away the dead skin. In between visits, you may be able to take painkilling medication to complement the wart removal process, as it can sometimes be quite painful, especially if the wart is on a part of the body normally covered by clothing. Plantar warts, which occur on the soles of the feet, can be particularly troublesome because the foot is weight bearing, and the wart will become compressed as you walk normally.

A blister should form underneath the wart after liquid nitrogen wart removal, and it is important to pay special attention to it to prevent it from bursting. A burst blister is more likely to allow the wart to recur in the future; it should be allowed to heal itself naturally, since the liquid inside the blister will naturally reconstitute itself into the body, helping to prevent infections. It will also leave dead skin behind, and you should try not to pick at it, allowing it to flake off on its own. This will prevent infection as well, and it will prevent the wart from recurring or spreading.

Liquid nitrogen wart removal can be done at home, but this is not recommended for several reasons. The risk of performing the process incorrectly is quite high, which could lead to long-term problems such as nerve damage. Liquid nitrogen is also a volatile substance that must be handled properly to avoid risk of injury, and it should be stored in a proper container. If you have never handled liquid nitrogen and have no experience with the process, it is best to visit a medical professional to get the process done correctly.

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Discuss this Article

anon951833
Post 9

I got the liquid nitrogen treatment five days ago and I still have large blood blisters. Not sure how long they are going to take to go away. I'm not sure if my doctor did the treatment wrong or if this is the normal recovery process.

anon931178
Post 8

You didn't buy liquid nitrogen over the counter.

anon354457
Post 7

I've had to deal with two warts on my wrist. I got them when someone at a concert scratched me in a mosh pit. I was pretty grossed out by that. Anyway, don't get over the counter stuff unless your wart is tiny.

For any warts that are bigger/been there a while definitely go to a doctor to have them freeze it off. It stings, but not that much. It depends on where your wart is too. Since mine are on my wrist (right where a watch would be) it doesn't hurt all that much. If its on your fingers or palm or toes or the soles of your feet, they hurt (so I've heard.)

anon350775
Post 6

I had this treatment a few days ago, and while it still hurts, the spot looks like it's healing nicely. I caught it in the early stages though, so that might be why. It's on the bottom of my foot, so I was worried about blisters, but nothing so far, just thick skin over the dead spot.

anon345093
Post 5

My wart treatment with the liquid nitrogen has resulted, two days after, in the hugest blood blister! It is so sick and 40 times the size of the wart. Is this okay?

anon339706
Post 4

Of course you couldn't buy liquid nitrogen over the counter. Its boiling degree is -196c, so it's not possible to keep it in pharmacies. I think it's very effective in treatment of warts. The mechanism of its action is the cold. It's not possible for a virus -- which is the cause of warts -- to still be alive after the application.

anon330477
Post 3

I just had this treatment done by my dermatologist after five attempts with an OTC freezing method. He said the temps aren't nearly cold enough to have any effect on a wart which is anywhere beyond the initial phases of growth.

I believe him because I felt nothing doing the at-home treatment and the one done in-office hurt like a bugger and has caused a giant blister underneath the wart (which is the point.) Try a dermatologist.

truman12
Post 2

@zsazsa56 - Hmmm, that is very strange. Usually the liquid nitrogen is really effective. I wonder what went wrong?

Have you tried using duct tape? If you wrap a little piece around the wart site it can reduce the size and color over time.

ZsaZsa56
Post 1

I have a little wart on the back of my left thumb. I bought some of the liquid nitrogen stuff over the counter to remove it but it didn't work at all. The wart looked different for a few days, and seemed to shrink, but within a few months it was the same size, shape and color that it had always been.

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