A new cosmetic procedure known as cryoneuromodulation has shown great potential for relaxing and smoothing wrinkles by freezing a nerve in the forehead. Conducted by California-based company, MyoScience, Inc., this new experimental technology uses cold to essentially freeze wrinkles away, possibly making it a toxin-free alternative to Botox and Dysport.
How Cryoneuromodulation Works
The procedure uses tiny needles called cryoprobes to inject cold into the temporal branch of the frontal nerve, which runs through the forehead. The temperature change interferes with the transmission of signals from the nerve to the muscle in the forehead that causes vertical and horizontal wrinkles. The signal remains cut off, even though the nerve quickly regains normal body temperature. The temporary injury that the cold causes to the nerve leaves the muscle relaxed. The effect is very much like Botox’, without the injection and without the toxin.
The study was conducted on 31 people. Significant reductions of wrinkles were reported after 2 to 8 treatments, with results being on par with those of Botox and Dysport treatments. The results last for 3 to 4 months, about the same duration obtained from a Botox injection. One important difference is that it produces results immediately, unlike Botox which requires a few days to take effect.
Though the side effects appear minimal – redness and headaches – experts have some concerns about the side effects of freezing wrinkles away. One concern is the effect on individuals with darker skin, whose pigmentation might be damaged by the treatment. Melanocytes, the skin cells which produce the pigment responsible for skin color, are extremely sensitive to low temperatures and may be adversely affected by the procedure.
There are also concerns about the amount of control physicians can achieve with cryoneuromodulation. Doctors would need to be trained to properly identify the frontal nerve to administer the treatment. And even so, they may have trouble controlling the procedure’s effects. Unlike a Botox injection where the amount can easily be controlled, experts fear the technology is all-or-nothing, with it being difficult to find the middle ground between no effect and an unattractive, immobile look.
From the clinical trials, cryoneuromodulation appears to be safe, with no indication of any adverse effects. Though the treatments show great promise, more research must be conducted on a wider scope and on a greater number of subjects before anything is definitive. Researchers must ensure that the treatment will not cause any permanent muscle or nerve injuries, especially with long-term use. They must also develop specific guidelines for proper administration of the treatment as well as determine how to control the scope of its effects.
The Future of Freezing Wrinkles
The study is still in its late clinical stages and may take a couple of years to obtain FDA approval before the procedure can be made available to consumers. It is likely cryoneuromodulation will be made available in European markets before it hits the U.S. Currently, the trials are focused only on smoothing wrinkles on the forehead but future research may be expanded to include other parts of the face.
It’s unlikely that cryoneuromodulation will ever supersede the popularity and precision of Botox injections, but in the near future, it may stand as a viable alternative for people who are iffy about the idea of injecting a foreign substance into their faces.
|Like Us on Facebook||Follow Us On Twitter|