1.  What happens during liquid nitrogen treatment?

During treatment, the skin turns white. This lasts about 10 seconds and the white colour disappears when the skin thaws.

The skin turns red immediately after treatment.


There may be some pain for about 10 minutes following the procedure. Longer duration of pain is unusual but may occur.


If you feel weak or dizzy after treatment, lie down with your feet up or sit down and place your head between your knees for a few minutes until you feel better.


A blister usually develops by the evening or the next day.


Sometimes, the blister becomes haemorrhagic and is filled with dark coloured fluid.

A haemorrhage blister

2.  Skin care following liquid nitrogen treatment

  • Leave the roof of the blister intact.

  • If the blister is large, it may be pricked and drained using a sterile needle.

  • If the blister is left alone, it will form a black scab in a few days.

  • Do not peel the scab. Allow it to fall off on its own.

  • Apply Supiroban ointment to the blistered area twice a day for 5 days or until complete healing takes place.


The treated area may heal with a white scar.  This is safer than a skin cancer which could otherwise develop.




3.  What is Liquid Nitrogen used for?


Solar Keratoses (Sun spots)


Seborrhoeic Keratoses


Solar lentigenes (Liver spots)


Viral warts


Molluscum contagiosum




Solar keratoses affecting the hand - from years of excessive sun exposure. They are pre-cancerous

seborrhoeic keratosis 2548

A seborrhoeic keratosis is benign (non-cancerous) and responds well to liquid nitrogen

solar lentigenes 1385 2

Solar lentigines are not cancerous but indicate how much sun exposure occurred throughout life

Viral wart 2651

Viral wart. Treatment is with liquid nitrogen, electrocautery, various topical agents, bleomycin injections and tuberculin antigen immunotherapy

Keloid shoulder 2521

Keloid shoulder following acne scars


Keloid treated with intralesional liquid nitrogen


Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection producing small bumps with a central umbilication

4.  Why treat solar keratoses with liqiuid nitrogen?

Solar keratoses are pre-cancerous and could progress to squamous cell carcinoma if left untreated. Which keratoses will progress cannot be predicted. It is therefore necessary to treat all solar keratoses.

© 2020 Dr N Raboobee

Appointments for physical and online consultations can be made with the secretary - Tel: 031 265 1505 or 079 562 3251. 

Please note that consultations and opinions are not offered by email unless an online consultation has been scheduled.

This practice is contracted out of medical aid.

031 265 1505 or

079 562 3251