Care Instructions & Forms
The response to CRYOSURGERY (freezing) may vary from mild redness and swelling with little discomfort to significant discoloration with blister formation and considerable discomfort. This varied response depends on the depth of freeze and the area treated. Initial burning sensations in the skin may last from several minutes to several hours.
Follow these instructions when caring for an area treated by CRYOSURGERY:
- Keep area clean and dry for 24 hours. The area may be washed gently with soap and water.
- Area may sting or burn for a short time after treatment.
- Treated area will be red in color at first, then brown and flaky as area heals and upper layer of skin falls off.
- Gently clean the area with Q-tips dipped in hydrogen peroxide. Pat dry and apply a THIN film of petrolatum ointment (Vaseline) or Aquaphor ointment. Do this at least once a day to prevent infection.
Follow instructions as stated above for minor response
- Area may sting or burn for several hours after treatment.
- Throbbing and pain in the treatment site may occur and may be relieved by elevating the area.
- Tylenol may be taken for discomfort every 3 to 4 hours as directed on the bottle.
- A blister will form in the area of freezing. It may be filled with clear fluid or occasionally blood. This is not unusual.
- Do not break the blister unless it becomes uncomfortable. You may prick the blister with a sterile needle or pin to remove fluid. Leave the skin intact.
- Cleanse twice a day with hydrogen peroxide and apply antibiotic petrolatum ointment (Vaseline) or Aquaphor ointment to prevent infection and thick scab formation.
- All treated areas usually heal within 3 to 4 weeks.
- Leave dressing or Band-Aid on for 24 hours, keeping it absolutely dry.
- After 24 hours, you may remove this Band-Aid, bathe or shower, cleanse the wound with tap water or hydrogen peroxide, apply petrolatum ointment (Vaseline) or Aquaphor ointment and cover with another Band-Aid.
- Continue Step 2 until weeping stops, then cleanse with tap water/hydrogen peroxide once daily and use petrolatum ointment 1-2 times daily until healed.
- The wound is healed when there is only a pink or white spot but no scab or crust.
- Your doctor may want you to schedule an appointment for a wound check. If you have any problems or questions, please call the office.
- If you have not heard from us regarding your biopsy results with 14 days, call the office and ask for a nurse.
- Please schedule an appointment at the front desk for suture removal.
- Keep dressing absolutely dry and in place. Remove outer tape and gauze in 1-2 days as directed by your doctor. You may then shower. It is no longer necessary to keep the wound dry. If the Doctor has applied some type of suture strip, leave it on until it falls off.
- If there is concern for swelling, your doctor may instruct you to put ice in a plastic bag or ice pack, wrap in a towel and apply to bandaged area for 20 to 30 minutes and then remove for 10 minutes. Continue this sequence until the next day.
- If the dressing gets wet by accident it must be removed. A wet dressing increases the chances of infection.
- Pain following skin surgery is usually surprisingly mild, but if the ice does not relieve the discomfort, take the medication given to you by the Doctor or take Tylenol (as directed on the bottle). Do NOT take Aspirin, Bufferin, Excedrin, Anacin, Orudis, Ibuprofen, Aleve, Motrin, Advil or Nuprin, which can cause bleeding if taken within 4 days after surgery. A prescription pain medication may be taken every 3 to 4 hours as needed.
- Some slight staining or scabbing on the surgical dressing will usually occur. If there is actual bleeding, apply constant pressure directed over the wound for 30 minutes. If this does not stop the bleeding, or if you have a great deal of pain, call the Doctor any time day or night.
- After removal of the dressing (typically after 1-2 days) cleanse the area with hydrogen peroxide/tap water equal parts then apply petrolatum ointment (Vaseline) or Aquaphor ointment 1 to 2 times a day to keep the incision site moist.
- You may take 1 tablet of a high potency multivitamin daily for 6 weeks to speed healing.
- Avoid supplemental Vitamin E and cortisone taken orally or applied topically for 6 weeks as this will significantly slow down the healing process. (Vitamin E in your multivitamin is O.K.)
- A small degree of swelling and redness normally occurs. If you suspect infection, please notify the Doctor.
- For facial surgery, please sleep with the head of the bed raised 30 to 45 degrees to minimize swelling.
- Post-Operative Activity Restrictions – Plan to limit your activity for 1-2 days after the procedure. Any activity that increases blood pressure can cause post-operative bleeding. After this time period, specific limitations in activity will depend on the surgical site, the type of activity and whether or not there are stitches present. Ask your doctor for specific limitations. If this is an elective procedure and you have planned activity which you feel may interfere with healing, you may choose to schedule your procedure after this planned event.