Cryosurgery is the use of liquid nitrogen (boiling point −196°C) to freeze tissues and destroy lesions on the skin. It’s considered a common and effective treatment and is widely used as an accepted mode of treatment which is safe and leads to only minor discomfort for the patient.

Liquid nitrogen therapy (cryosurgery) involves freezing a lesion, commonly a wart, for 10 to 20 seconds every month until clear. How cryosurgery destroys warts is not well understood, but some think that freezing causes local irritation and destruction, leading the patient to mount an immune response against the virus. Cryosurgery is also commonly used to treat precancerous lesions, some skin cancers, and numerous benign skin growths. It is commonly preferred to more traditional surgery because of minimal pain, scarring, and cost.

Side effects of treatment can include pain and blistering. A major drawback to cryotherapy for many people, often occurring with children, is the fear and discomfort they experience with the procedure. Other potential side effects are infection, scarring, and a color change in the skin at the site of treatment.