How can an indentation caused by liquid nitrogen used to freeze a seborrheic keratosis on the bridge of my nose be healed?

A dermatologist used liquid nitrogen to freeze a seborrheic keratosis on the bridge of my nose two weeks ago and I'm very concerned that it's going to leave a large scar. I've had this procedure done numerous times in the past without any problems but this time I had a large blister over the site for three days and then a scab that lasted another week. Now there is an indentation at the site and I'm very worried that it will not heal or fill back in. How can this be fixed? It is very noticeable.

Doctor Answers (5)

Dent caused by liquid nitrogen on nose.

+1
Blistering and scabbing means there was some superficial tissue loss, and that has now resulted in the contour change ("dent") you describe. You must have had a deeper freeze this time, or it would have healed like all your other liquid nitrogen treatments. But perhaps the keratosis was actually an actinic lesion and your doctor wanted to ensure more complete removal. Second degree skin damage can be superficial and leave no scarring, or deep second degree that will result in scarring, so not every blister and scabbed wound is the same.

If finally healed at two weeks, there is still softening and resolution of swelling to occur. I would recommend nothing other than ultraviolet avoidance as long as there is any pink discoloration at the treatment site.

If there is still an open wound that has not completely epithelialized, you may indeed have some scarring. Keep it clean and moist; do not pick any scabbing, or the scar will be worse.

If contour irregularity persists after a couple of months, superficial dermabrasion can reduce the depression. Keep in touch with your doctor as this area matures. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen


Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Indentaion on the nose after liquid nitrogen

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The best thing you can do now is to keep the scabbing portion coated with an ointment your doctor recommends and keep the sun off of the area. You can wear skin colored paper tape which will keep the ointment in place and the scar sun protected. Since you are only weeks from your procedure you can't tell how it will heal. Moist cuts heal much flatter than scabbing or dry cuts that heal with a depression.

Garrett H. Bennett, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Nose Surgery

+1
Hi M,
Sorry you are having a problem.  A blister means it was a second degree tissue change.  You are still early.  Scars on the nose usually heal very, very well.  But give it more time, like a year.  Keep your doctor in the loop for possible scar therapy.  Indents in the nose tend to fill in, so I am optimistic without seeing or examing you.  If you need extra work, be sure to see only a board certified plastic or facial plastic surgeon.  All the best, "Dr. Joe"

Joe Gryskiewicz, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Indentation caused by liquid nitrogen

+1
Hello.  Being that it has only been 2 weeks ago, it is best to allow at least a couple of months to go by.  Once that area is completely healed and there is an indentation, consult with a Plastic Surgeon regarding what options will best correct the indentation.  Good luck!

John A. Ayala, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

How can an indentation caused by liquid nitrogen used to freeze a seborrheic keratosis on the bridge of my nose be healed?

+1
Since it has only been 2 weeks, there is still plenty of time for healing.  Follow up with your Plastic Surgeon in 6 to 9 weeks for an evaluation if needed.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.