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July 1960

Advantages and Limitations of Liquid Nitrogen in the Therapy of Skin Lesions

Author Affiliations

Santa Monica, Calif.

Arch Dermatol. 1960;82(1):9-16. doi:10.1001/archderm.1960.01580010015002

In the past 56 years, local refrigeration therapy has been advocated for a great variety of dermatologic conditions. In 1899, Campbell White1 recommended liquid air in the treatment of such diverse diseases as lupus erythematosus (presumably chronic discoid), epithelioma, herpes zoster (making the application to the spine in the affected segment), sciatica, chancroid, buboes, erysipelas, and for aborting furuncles and carbuncles.

Pusey2 in 1907 introduced "carbon dioxide snow" for the treatment of verrucae, "nevi of all sorts," and senile keratoses "even those showing beginning epitheliomatous degeneration," although he did "not consider it a treatment of choice in epithelioma." He also used solid carbon dioxide in the treatment of lupus erythematosus.

By 1910, James Gold,3 using liquid air, had trimmed Campbell White's list down to lupus erythematosus and early epithelioma, adding tuberculosis verrucosa cutis, and with Pusey, vascular nevi, pigmented nevi, with and without hairs, and verrucae.


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