What are the Symptoms & Side Effects of Using Liquid Nitrogen on Warts

Warts are growths on the skin caused by the Human Papilloma Virus. Warts can grow on any part of the body. There are also different types of warts, some warts more responsive to a particular treatment than others.

Warts that are not responsive to over-the-counter medications or first line treatment such as with salicylic acid are recommended for cryotherapy or the freezing of the warts to kill and effectively it.

How to Use Liquid Nitrogen for Warts

The process of freezing warts is called cryotherapy.

  • Cryotherapy makes use of a freezing agent such as liquid nitrogen.
  • Cyrotherapy effectively kills warts by killing its blood supply.
  • Warts are fed by blood vessels. When the wart is frozen using liquid nitrogen, the blood vessels constrict and eventually die.
  • Without sufficient blood supply or a sudden cut off of blood supply will effectively kill the wart.
  • When the wart dies, it falls off on its own.
  • The advantage of this method is that the treatment is restricted to the smallest possible area affected without damaging the surrounding unaffected areas.

Side Effects of Using Liquid Nitrogen for Warts

There are little side effects associated with the use of liquid nitrogen for cryotherapy especially if done correctly. Cyrotherapy can be done in the doctor’s office or it can be done at home with commercially-prepared products, depending on the case of the patient’s warts. The following are common side effects of liquid nitrogen for wart removal.

  • Scarring may occur if the wart is thick. Thicker warts require repeated or extensive freezing which damages nerves around the warts and causes scarring.
  • There is little chance that infection may occur.

Symptoms of Using Liquid Nitrogen on Warts

Liquid nitrogen treatment for removal of warts poses certain risks of infection although this chance is quite small. When the following symptoms are observed, medical consult should be sought.

  • Increasing pain
  • Swelling on and around the treated area.
  • Redness on the treated area.
  • Tenderness felt on the treated area.
  • Heat
  • Red streaks that extend from the treated area.
  • Pus discharge coming from the treated area.
  • Fever with no other identified cause.

Treatment method of Liquid Nitrogen for Warts

There are several considerations to take especially for patients wishing to undergo liquid nitrogen for wart removal.

  • The treatment can be moderately painful but for a short time only.
  • Treatment is expensive.
  • Treatment can be painful especially when the wart being treated is located on thickened skin such as the palms and the soles.
  • Multiple treatments may be necessary especially for large and thick warts.
  • The treatment can be done on an outpatient basis and is a quick procedure.
  • Liquid nitrogen is also available as DIY preparations for home treatment of warts.