What is the role of cryosurgery in the treatment of nongenital warts?

Updated: Sep 25, 2020
  • Author: Philip D Shenefelt, MD, MS; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Cryosurgery  [38]

Liquid nitrogen (-196ºC) is the most effective method of cryosurgery. Apply liquid nitrogen using a cotton bud applicator or cryospray to the recommended 1-2 mm rim of normal skin tissue around the wart. Repeat every 1-4 weeks for approximately 3 months, as needed. Warn patients about pain and possible blistering after treatment.

Use with caution on the sides of fingers, since it can injure underlying structures and nerves. Other side effects may include scarring, ulceration, or pigment alteration. In addition, rarely cryosurgery can result in a central clearing with an annular recurrence of the wart surrounding the treated area, known as a "doughnut wart." Cure rates of 50-80% h

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