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June 12, 1954


JAMA. 1954;155(7):666. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.03690250046021

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To the Editor:  —Having had experience with liquid nitrogen in the treatment of various dermatoses, I have often been questioned regarding the practical factors in its use. Liquid nitrogen is noninflammable and has a boiling point of -195 C (-319 F). Its therapeutic value is due to its ability to freeze the skin and cause blistering of varying degrees, depending on the duration of exposure. Liquid nitrogen has an advantage over solid carbon dioxide (dry ice) for thickened lesions. The technique of application consists of moistening a cotton-tipped applicator stick with liquid nitrogen and applying it to the skin for periods ranging from 10 to 60 seconds, depending on the reaction desired.Treatment of common warts consists of application of liquid nitrogen about four to eight times at weekly intervals, 10 to 15 seconds being satisfactory for small warts, 30 seconds for large warts, and 60 seconds for plantar warts.

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