The Benefits of Cryotherapy
At the Ritacca Laser Center, we’re constantly looking for safe, minimally invasive ways to reverse the aging process. In doing so, we often turn to established medical technologies. Many of the methods doctors use to heal injuries and manage chronic health conditions can also encourage cosmetic rejuvenation. This overlap exists because compounds used during healing, like collagen and elastin, are also essential for the maintenance of firm, smooth, and youthful skin.
Cryotherapy has been used for decades to provide pain relief and prompt tissue regeneration, but it’s only recently been adopted by plastic surgeons and dermatologists. Today, this procedure is used to quickly and painlessly improve the health and appearance of patients.
What is Cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy is a system wherein patients are exposed to hyper-cooled vapors for two to four minutes. This exposure time is sufficient to stimulate the healing process and metabolism, while being too short to induce cold-related injuries.
Cryotherapy can be applied to the whole body or just specific areas, such as the face. When applied to the face, cryotherapy is often called a “cryofacial” or “frotox.”
What are the Benefits of Cryotherapy?
The primary advantages of cryotherapy over other skin rejuvenation treatments are safety and convenience. No harsh chemicals or injections are used during cryotherapy, and patients can resume their normal activities soon after treatment. Furthermore, cryofacials do not cause the skin to crack or peel. Cosmetically, cryotherapy can grant all of the following benefits:
- Instantly tighter skin.
Extreme cold causes a wide variety of materials to contract, and human tissue is no exception. When cold vapors are applied to the skin, the blood vessels and connective tissues below the epidermis are immediately constricted. This instantly (and painlessly) firms the skin, lifting the face and reducing the visibility of wrinkles.
- No-contact exfoliation.
Under the right conditions, cold air can act as a powerful exfoliant. Cryofacials open clogged pores, induce the natural shedding of dead skin cells, and reduce the production of sebum (skin oil). This creates a radiant, glowing look and helps control acne symptoms.
- Increased collagen production.
When the body is subjected to extreme cold, it instantly goes into “panic mode” because it assumes that the skin is being injured (e.g., by frostbite). In its rush to repair potential damage, the body sends a surge of collagen and elastin to the skin’s surface. This collagen and elastin then gets to work, rebuilding and strengthening the epidermis.
This healing process, which is a fundamental part of how laser and chemical peels work, effectively combats age-related collagen loss. In the weeks following a cryofacial, the skin gradually becomes fuller and healthier.
- Better fat burning.
Our bodies have to burn a lot of calories to stay warm in cold conditions. In fact, being exposed to temperatures cold enough to induce shivering can burn 100 calories in just 15 minutes. Some people therefore use whole-body cryotherapy to enhance their weight loss efforts. The deep cold used during this procedure may burn up to 500 calories per session. However, it’s important to remember that cryotherapy is not a feasible substitute for a healthy lifestyle. Caloric restriction and regular exercise are necessary for weight loss, with or without the assistance of cosmetic treatments.
If you’re interested in skin rejuvenation but don’t want to deal with downtime or peeling, cryotherapy might be right for you. To learn more about this treatment, contact the Ritacca Laser Center at 847-367-8815.