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 Actinic cheilitis - Cryosurgery (Liquid nitrogen)
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5 Posts

Posted - 04/22/2010 :  11:32:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have minor Actinic cheilitis (AK on the lip). My lips are dry but they don’t peal or flake off constantly. You can’t see a big scab or anything. Doctor recommends one of two options: Cryosurgery (liquid nitrogen) or Carbon Dioxide Laser. He said both have a 3% chance of scarring and both have the same change of successful eradication. The cryo will heal in 3 days. The CO2 Laser takes 7-10 days to heal. Insurance covers the cryo but not the laser. I am leaning toward the cryosurgery.

Has anyone had experience with Cryosurgery on the lip? Or, even Carbon dioxide lasor treatment. Please let me know what you went through.


170 Posts

Posted - 04/22/2010 :  18:26:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think I have the same situation as you do, but I am not considering either of these alternatives. At the moment the 2 I am most interested in are: CNSL - Cashwe Nut Shell Oil (see the thread for this). I have some of the oil, which was hard to get. I tried it on a potential BCC spot on my face, extremely small, but after 2 applications got a pretty strong poison-ivy type reaction, which may increase if I try a third time. For one reason or another, I just haven't had time to invest in an attempt right now. If the CNSL does not do the job, I plan to try Petty Spurge, which also has a strong thread on this forum and, so far, seems to be among the most successful solutions, including commericial ones, although it is still open to question, as they are also. Read the material on this website thoroughly, including the parts about diet and general health care. You may decide to try of the alternative approaches mentioned here. However, as Dan says, sometimes the thing to do is just go ahead and get the bad spot removed, while you consider how to take care of others in the future. Also, luckily, at least one of your choices is covered by insurance.
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5 Posts

Posted - 04/26/2010 :  13:43:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I made the appointment for the cryotheraphy. Happens in about three weeks. I'll post my experience for others. I am suprised nobody with experience (with cryosurgery on the lips) has responded.
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603 Posts

Posted - 04/26/2010 :  20:56:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi AoxoA, you might want to look at this thread,oil,lip starting with the post from rdp. NOW brand orange oil did wonders for rdp's lip problem within a matter of days. I costs about $5 at GNC. Not much to lose, it might be worth a try.

As a warning, orange oil can cause an intense burning-like pain when applied topically to skin cancers. Fortunately, the pain subsides completely in about 30 minutes. Use orange oil topically at your own risk.
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5 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2010 :  16:48:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Dan. If the cryosurgery fails, i'll give it a try.
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5 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2010 :  15:11:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The online information regarding Cryosurgery and Actinic Cheilitis is sparse and vague----Especially for mild cases that are treated early. Most things I came across mention laser surgery as the preferred treatment for Actinic Cheilitis. However, I believe that’s for the cases with huge bumps and/or constantly peeling lips.

Results of my research: Focal actinic cheilitis can be treated successfully with Cryosurgery or electrosurgery. Extensive actinic cheilitis may respond to 5-fluorouracil, carbon dioxide laser or scalpel vermilionectomy.

Most sources state cryosurgery (not lip specific) has these Disadvantages:
• prolonged healing time of 3 to 10 weeks
• hypopigmentation is a common occurrence
• anatomic control is limited since cryonecrosis affects anything in its path including blood vessels and nerves
• precise anatomic control of tumor margins is lacking.

The doctor said there are two ways he defines focal: (1) a single defined spot (2) or, many spots that are superficial (i.e. on the surface and not too deep). He said although I had several spots, he would spray the entire lower lip. His theory is to mitigate the growth of new ones.

He conceded that new Actinic Cheilitis would probably surface in the future. Most likely these would be new ones rather than a resurfacing of the old ones that were frozen off. He likened actinic cheilitis to weeds that you have to keep pulling. He also said It is possible for new ones to return in the same area as the old ones as this was fertile ground (weed analogy). He had a patient that had one return 2 months after cryosurgery. They repeated the procedure and the patient is going on two years without signs of Actinic Cheilitis.

I asked about cryosurgery permanently destroying hair follicles and the limited anatomic control of the spray. I was worried the overspray could damage my “soul patch.” He said he was not going deep enough to damage the roots and he would use a narrow spray tip along with gauze to shield the hair-bearing skin from overspray.

The procedure was not bad at all. He did two passes on each side of my lower lip. It felt deeply cold but not unbearable. Afterword, I could feel my lip pulsing and now, an hour after, it is semi-swollen, discolored (light with red outlines). Possible blister is forming even though I started taking valtrcts yesterday to mitigate cold sore formation.

I was instructed to use Aquaphor to keep it from drying out. The wound care hand-out mentions applying a Polysporin antibiotic ointment.
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5 Posts

Posted - 06/30/2010 :  19:30:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Camera flash is not very flattering to lips and neither is enlarging the images for detail.

Regardless, here are some images of my lips healing from cryosurgery:
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1 Posts

Posted - 11/13/2013 :  08:50:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm writing 3 years late, but I couldn't find much information about cryosurgery with this condition and I want to put as much info out as possible.

I was very nervous about the treatment and even my doctor said it would be painful. I just did it this morning and it was not painful! It was very cold and stung at times, but overall pretty easy. There was a slight burning sensation for about 10 minutes afterward and for the past few hours there has been no pain at all, just a fat lip.
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