Dry ice acne treatment, also called cryotherapy or acne slush treatment is not as well known in the UK as it is in other parts of the world.
This treatment is a sometimes uncomfortable medical procedure that is only carried out by dermatologists and skin specialists.
It is suitable for a range of skin conditions and can be used to remove moles, warts, skin tags and scars as well as an acne treatment.
What’s involved with dry ice treatment?
Dry ice treatment for acne is carried out by applying extremely low temperature ice to the face. This is typically made by liquid nitrogen or carbon dioxide at minus 196 Celsius, by using a cylinder of frozen carbon dioxide snow at minus 78.5 degrees, or by using a slush combined with acetone (antifreeze).
The dermatologist will calculate the correct temperature and exposure time necessary to get the most beneficial effect.
Dry ice treatment causes ice crystals to form inside the cells which destroy them. The upper layer of the skin is removed and this in turn removes white heads and black heads and unblocks pores – a major cause of acne. The process often causes severe bleeding as the upper skin layer is removed.
How often do you have dry ice treatment?
Patients usually attend weekly sessions and the process takes just a few minutes each time. Before treatment, you are advised to keep any chemical substances from your face and ensure that you only use lukewarm water and not soap on your face.
After effects of dry ice treatment
Dry ice treatment can be a painful experience. Throughout treatment, most patients experience a stinging and burning sensation. It is usual to expect the face to bleed and be severely swollen and red following treatment, and you may need cortisone injections.
Following treatment, you can expect blisters to develop which can be red or purple because of the bleeding. As the blisters heal and form scabs you may have further pain and experience yellow discharge from the affected area .Your dermatologist will probably prescribe antibiotics to prevent against infection.
Can Dry Ice treatment treat acne?
Dry ice treatment is not a new invention. It was developed over 25 years ago but is relatively unknown in the UK as an acne treatment.
Although it can help treat acne, most people will be put off by the pain and side effects. Effectively burning off the top layer of skin with ice seems an extreme solution and many people will find the cure and recovery process much worse than the condition itself.