This section addresses recovery after intralesional cryotherapy, which is the dominant type of cryotherapy used today.

Immediately after treatment:

  • Immediately after intralesional cryotherapy, some patients experience minor bleeding from the puncture holes. The doctor may cover these with a sterile dressing.
  • It is normal to experience pain immediately after intralesional cryotherapy. A few hours after treatment, blisters will develop at the treated sites.

Days and weeks after treatment:

  • The treated scar should be washed on a daily basis until it heals in order to prevent infection. In some cases, the doctor may recommend applying an antibiotic ointment and a sterile gauze to the scar for about 10 days as a further measure against infection.
  • A few days after treatment, a crust will form over the treated scar. It may take up to a month for the skin to completely heal.

Longer term:

  • Persistent skin lightening (hypopigmentation) at the treated site may be present for months, and in some cases, may last over a year.
  • A rare long-term side effect is development of an atrophic (indented) scar at the treated site.
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