Cutaneous effects of cryogen spray cooling on in vivo human skin. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Despite widespread clinical use of cryogen spray cooling (CSC) in conjunction with laser dermatologic surgery, in vivo cutaneous effects have not been systematically evaluated. OBJECTIVE: The authors characterize the in vivo cutaneous effects for Fitzpatrick skin types I through VI after CSC exposures of varying spurt durations and spurt delivery patterns (single vs. multiple spurts). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-seven normal human subjects were exposed to single cryogen spurts from 10 to 80 milliseconds, and multiple spurt patterns consisting of two 20-millisecond spurts, four 10-millisecond spurts, and eight 5-millisecond spurts. Subjects were evaluated by clinical observation and photography at 1 hour, 1 day, and 1, 4, 8, and 12 weeks after CSC exposure. RESULTS: Acute erythema and urticaria (1-24 hours) were noted in 14 of 27 and 3 of 27 subjects, respectively. Transient hyperpigmentation occurred in 4 of 27 subjects (skin types III-VI) but resolved spontaneously without medical intervention in all subjects by 8 weeks. No permanent skin changes were noted in any subjects. Skin reactions were more common with longer single-spurt durations (50 milliseconds or greater) and multiple spurt patterns. CONCLUSION: Acute erythema, urticaria, and, less commonly, transient hyperpigmentation were observed after CSC exposure. Permanent skin injury was not observed and is unlikely.

published proceedings

  • Dermatol Surg

author list (cited authors)

  • Datrice, N., Ramirez-San-Juan, J., Zhang, R., Meshkinpour, A., Aguilar, G., Nelson, J. S., & Kelly, K. M.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Datrice, Nicole||Ramirez-San-Juan, Julio||Zhang, Rong||Meshkinpour, Azin||Aguilar, Guillermo||Nelson, J Stuart||Kelly, Kristen M

publication date

  • January 2006