Soon, eliminating expression lines/wrinkles may require no more than a drop in temperature. A new alternative to Botox and Dysport based on chilling nerves to promote relaxation was recently presented at a meeting for the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery in Grapevine, Texas. The technology, called “cryoneuromodulation,” has not yet been approved by the FDA, but some believe it may be as safe and effective as Botox.
The technique, introduced in a study by Myoscience, Inc., may have similarities to Botox: the results last about three to four months, the procedure is quick and involves a few needle pricks, and the patient’s wrinkles and lines diminish. However, rather than injecting Botulinum toxin, the new technology uses probes to freeze nerves in the forehead area. After the procedure, the patient’s forehead returns to normal temperature, but the affected nerves are temporarily “injured.” The cold disrupts the nerve signals and causes the muscles to relax, which makes wrinkles substantially less visible. After the three to four months the cryoneuromodulation is in effect, the nerves should return to their former state.
Some believe that the technology will eventually become as popular as Botox. The researchers claim that cryoneuromodulation has immediate results, whereas Botox results become visible after a few days. However, the real selling point of the technology is that, unlike Botox and Dysport, cryoneuromodulation doesn’t use the Botulinum toxin. Though Botulinum toxin was approved in 2002 by the FDA for cosmetic procedure usage, some people are bothered by the idea of injecting a neurotoxin into their body. Cryoneuromodulation could be a viable alternative for people who want to smooth lines and wrinkles without the injection of chemicals.
Though many dermatologists have expressed excitement over the new technology, the FDA will have the final say regarding approval of cryomodulation. The possibility that the procedure could cause permanent nerve damage is still up for debate, but some researchers and dermatologists are calling the new procedure “promising.” Before long, a wrinkle-free forehead could be only a freeze away.
Cryoneuromodulation vs. Botox
- More natural for the body – no botulism toxin
- Cold disrupts the nerve signals and causes the muscle to relax
- Results may last the same timeframe as Botox
Potential advantages of Botox
- Proven track record of safety and efficacy when properly used
- Very quick and easy to undergo with virtually no recovery
- Very versatile- used for forehead lines, frown lines, crows feet, mouth frown, and other areas
Cautions about Cryoneuromodulation
- New technologies are often received with a very positive bias by physicians conducting the research, companies marketing a product, and patients looking for the latest.
- Complications of a new treatment may not be fully recognized until a large number of patients are treated
- Cryoneuromodulation may be more painful than Botox
- Thermal-based nerve injury may have a higher risk of injury to surrounding tissue than Botox