“We treat people, not just problems.”
John L. Pfenninger, M.D.
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Physicians use freezing agents to treat certain skin growths such as warts, skin tags, age spots, and a variety of other skin growths. These skin growths are destroyed by the freezing action.
From a few hours to a few days after treatment the area may blister, accumulate blood, turn black, or form a scab. This is a desirable result. In some patients, no reaction is apparent.
1. You are allowed to get the area wet even immediately after treatment.
2. If the area is painful within the first few hours after treatment, soaking the area in warm water and taking aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen will give pain relief. Most persons will have little or no pain from this treatment.
3. It is not necessary to cover the area with a bandage. In fact, this is undesirable. Treated areas heal better if left open to the air. You should protect the area from injury as much as possible. See #4 below.
4. Large blisters (even blisters filled with blood) can occur at times. If they are painful, they can be opened and the fluid drained to relieve the discomfort. If such painful blisters occur and you feel uncomfortable removing them or if you have any other trouble with the treated area, contact your physician. If you see blood in the blister, it is best to open it so it doesn’t spread too far from the bleeding. See #7 below.
5. As the treated area heals, the unwanted skin growth will fall off. This will take several days to weeks depending on the size and nature of the growth treated, the location, and the way your body heals.
6. If the blister isn’t bothersome, allow the growth to fall off by itself; do not pick at it or pull it off. Once it ruptures, it is OK to peel off all the loose skin if you want. See #7 below.
7. Once the blister comes off, wash the area 3-4 times a day with mild soap and water. Do not use peroxide. Use an antibiotic ointment or even Vaseline to keep the area moist. Keep it covered if it’s under clothes or gets irritated, otherwise it is best to leave it open. Cover it at night with a Band-Aid to keep it moist.
8. When the growth does come off, the skin underneath will be somewhat red. As time passes, it will assume the color of normal skin. The area may be sensitive to touch, temperature, and be itchy as it heals. This is normal, and it may take some time before it is exactly like the skin around it once more. Usually there is little if any scarring, but the area may be lighter than the surrounding skin.
9. If the abnormality grows back, see your doctor.
Copyright, 2011. John L. Pfenninger, M.D. Jw02/11