Can I use a compressed air duster to freeze off a wart?

August 01, 2011 08:57AM
0 0

Let's find out!

ONE

According to wikipedia common ingredients of canned air are:
Difluoroethane, which has a boiling point of -25 C
Trifluoroethane, which has a boiling point of -46 C
and Tetrafluoroethane, which has a boiling point of -26 C

Nitrogen, which is often used for cryosurgery, has a boiling point of -196 C.

A fluid isn't considered cryonic for scientific purposes unless it's below 150 C.... but is -25 C cold enough for non-"cryo" cryosurgery?

According to this article on WebMD Medscape:

Quote
Aaron J Morgan, MD
Cell injury occurs during the thaw, after the cell is frozen. Because of the hyperosmotic intracellular conditions, ice crystals do not form until -5°C to -10°C. The transformation of water to ice concentrates the extracellular solutes and results in an osmotic gradient across the cell membrane, causing further damage.

...

Keratinocytes need to be frozen to -50°C for optimum destruction. Melanocytes are more delicate and only require a temperature of -5°C for destruction. This fact is the reason for the resulting hypopigmentation following cryotherapy on darker-skinned individuals. Malignant skin cancers usually need a temperature of -50°C, while benign lesions only require a temperature of -20°C to -25°C.

Common warts (verruca vulgaris), caused by HPV strains 2 and 4, are considered to be benign lesions. So that sounds promising! But what's that about keratinocytes needing to get down to -50 to be destroyed? I want a second opinion.

Quote
E. J. Mayeaux, Jr., MD, DABFP, FAAFP
Human tissue freezes at -2.2 C, with tissue destruction occurring at temperatures at or colder than -10 C.

...

Generally, destruction of benign lesions requires temperatures of -20 C to -30 C.

Right on, that's more like it.

Quote
Aaron J Morgan, MD
Liquid nitrogen is the best and universal freezing source because of its low boiling point and its ease of use. Other sources that are used to freeze, such as Freon, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide, do exist, but they are not as efficient in destroying lesions because of their higher boiling points.

Freon has a boiling point of -29 C, which is pretty darn close to di- and tetrafluoroethane, and which is actually higher than trifluoroethane.

TWO

Okay, so it would probably work. But what about issues with squirting haloalkanes directly onto your skin? Will they be absorbed and give you cancer? Let's check the MSDSes!

Difluoroethane: Hazardous only if inhaled (simple asphyxiant).
Trifluoroethane: Hazardous only if inhaled (simple asphyxiant).
Tetrafluoroethane: Hazardous only if inhaled (simple asphyxiant).

No carcinogenic or other toxicity warnings on any of these; just don't huff them. There are also warnings about potential frostbite, but that's exactly what we want.


THREE

According to the 2008 MMH-SI Physician's Fees and Coding Guide (referenced in Mayeaux), the average 50th percentile fee for "destruction [of] benign [...] lesion, first lesion" is $102, with an extra $35 added for each additional lesion.

A can of air duster costs like three, four bucks. Free, if you're performing the operation at work.


So I think the conclusion here is that you can perform do-it-yourself cryosurgery with canned air. It might not be as effective, but it will certainly be a lot cheaper.


Look for part 2, in which I get drunk and actually try this, in the future. Thanks.


BONUS FUN FACT: "Adenovirus is capable of survival in liquid nitrogen."
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Subject Author Posted

Can I use a compressed air duster to freeze off a wart?

JimL2 August 01, 2011 08:57AM

At my first job we used to sneak up and spray each other in the back of the neck with upside-down cans

Lorenzo Stomp August 01, 2011 05:32PM

You can just use a razor, if you are not a wimp. (nt)

ygurts August 01, 2011 06:06PM

Ohhhhh, I would not 100% endorse solving warts and other skin problems with edged weapons !!!

athodyd August 01, 2011 09:13PM

he said "if you're not a wimp"

jenesaisquoi August 01, 2011 10:09PM

jenigma uses a can of compressed air to cool off her pussy after letting a bunch of black guys dump their cum inside of her, what a filthy slut!

Bocephus Felix Pius Maximus Invictus August 01, 2011 10:37PM

you'd do the same thing if you weren't a wimp

jenesaisquoi August 01, 2011 11:32PM

how many times has a man ever hit you in your life?

Bocephus Felix Pius Maximus Invictus August 01, 2011 11:57PM

hey if you and gurts join up you could become like the Voltron of being a creep about me

jenesaisquoi August 02, 2011 12:14AM

Ban the IN

ygurts August 02, 2011 12:43AM

I'm thinking about ejaculating inside of you just for laughs

Bocephus Felix Pius Maximus Invictus August 04, 2011 03:34PM

get the fuck out of my subthread. (nt)

ygurts August 01, 2011 11:45PM

haha

jenesaisquoi August 01, 2011 11:53PM

No, you're a fucking banal idiot who I am telling to shut the fuck up.

ygurts August 01, 2011 11:56PM

You have the dumbest looking foot I've ever seen.

Persephone S. Tight August 04, 2011 09:53PM

Why don't you just buy some liquid nitrogen?

phalsebob August 01, 2011 07:41PM

Look pal if I wanted to leave my apartment I would just go see a doctor

JimL2 August 04, 2011 01:03AM

Re: Look pal if I wanted to leave my apartment I would just go see a doctor

I Ruin The Jokes August 04, 2011 05:35PM

I'm not suggesting you put on pants or anything.

phalsebob August 05, 2011 06:55AM

can you imagine how dangerous it would be to have a big container of LN2 just sitting around

JimL2 August 07, 2011 04:32PM

Maybe that's what happened to Mr Freeze

balistic August 08, 2011 08:56AM

Re: can you imagine how dangerous it would be to have a big fur suit just sitting around

vvp August 08, 2011 09:44AM

check out this song

jenesaisquoi August 01, 2011 11:31PM

DO IT DO IT DO IT

FKML August 04, 2011 09:59PM


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