Liquid nitrogen is a chemical that is super cold, about -328°F (-200°C).
Liquid nitrogen will instantly freeze anything it touches. It is used to kill cells that make up diseased or cancerous tissue. Tissue that has been frozen dries out and falls off.
Habif TP. Dermatologic surgical procedures. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 27.
Review Date 10/8/2018
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.