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Journal Article


Nakaso S, Ono S, Chung KC, Ogawa R. J. Burn Care Res. 2024; ePub(ePub): ePub.


(Copyright © 2024, American Burn Association, Publisher Lippincott Williams and Wilkins)






This study examines a rare case of frostbite on the hands caused by liquid nitrogen, focusing on the scar maturation process. Frostbite is typically less prone to abnormal scarring compared to burns, and this report contrasts the differences in scar maturation between the two. A 31-year-old male hospital employee sustained first- to second-degree frostbite on his gloved hands from a 20-second exposure to liquid nitrogen while changing a cylinder. Conservative treatment was applied, and the patient was monitored for 9 months. The deeply affected area took 50 days to epithelialize but healed without hypertrophic scarring. A mild extension contracture was noted in the distal interphalangeal joint of the right index finger, but the skin remained supple and soft. Incidents of liquid nitrogen-induced frostbite are uncommon, with only 14 cases reported in PubMed® previously. In frostbite, the wound healing involves a slow replacement of damaged connective tissue, which acts as an internal splint, reducing wound contraction. This contrasts with burns, where rapid connective tissue replacement occurs, often leading to significant wound contraction due to the presence of myofibroblasts in granulation tissue. In the presented case, the slow healing process and minimal wound contraction led to mature scarring without abnormalities, underlining a distinctive healing trajectory in frostbite injuries compared to burns.

Language: en


frostbite; hand; liquid nitrogen


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