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Scar Cryotherapy

Intralesional or Topical Application of Liquid Nitrogen to Scars


Cryotherapy treatments for keloids and hypertrophic scars can be divided into two categories, depending on the method used to administer the sub-viable application of cold to the abnormal scar. The Cryoshape needle uses a method known as intralesional cryotherapy in which a targetted needle is placed within a keloid scar and allowed to reach therapeutic freezing temperatures. At times, the Cryotherapy probe is repositioned several times during the treatment to affect a total freezing of the abnormal scar tumor. Advocates of intralesional cryotherapy support this approach because the cryoprobe is positioned in the center of the keloid, thus affecting the central mass of the abnormal scar. Critics of intralesional cryotherapy suggest that the pain caused by the needle probe being inserted into the keloid is quite traumatic and unecessary. The second method of cryotherapy is topical, with application of liquid nitrogen onto the surface of the keloid in sequence until the entire lesion is visibly frozen. Topical cryotherapy has gained wide acceptance as it allows the freezing of a keloid scar from the outside inward. 


FAQ: Cryotherapy

Q: What is a keloid? 

A: Keloids are abnormal scars that occur on the skin. There are different ways to describe a keloid, based on its morphology or behavior. We know that keloids tend to grow with time, causing the scar to progress beyond its original borders. Unlike a stable scar, keloids tend to be more uncomfortable, painful, and symptomatic.  Some keloids can cause severe symptoms of itching, burning, and pain. Many patients try to distinguish between keloids and hypertrophic scars; in reality, there are many cases where the two types of scars overlap in appearance and behavior. 


Q: Can Cryotherapy treat keloids on all skin types? 

A: Intralesional Cryotherapy or Topical Cryotherapy has been used on children with success. Although the safety of cryotherapy has been established on children and adults, the choice to undergo cryotherapy vs. other keloid treatments should be made by a qualified scar expert. During your child's consultation with Dr. Karamanoukian, he will carefully examine the problematic keloid and determine whether the most expedient treatment option is cryotherapy, surgery, intralesional injections, or laser. It is often suitable for children to begin conservative treatement of their keloids with topical application of Plato's Scar Serum twice daily prior to initiating keloid procedures. 

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