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New Technology Could Freeze Away Wrinkles

Tag Archives: fine lines

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®

Photo: stevendepolo

Women are increasingly initiating Botox® treatments at an earlier age.  It’s not uncommon for women in their twenties or thirties to seek treatment for fine lines and wrinkles around the brow area.  What’s the reason behind younger women visiting the cosmetic dermatologist?  Blackberry Botox® .  It’s a new term referring to the rise in women seeking Botox® treatments due to overuse of mobile phones.

The pervasive use of smartphones means women are spending more and more time squinting at smaller screens to browse the latest celebrity gossip, watch YouTube videos, check Facebook news feeds or read text messages.  Focusing on small text on Blackberry, iPhone, or Android screens for extended periods of time builds tension in the facial muscles, typically resulting in premature wrinkling.

Cosmetic dermatologists are divided over Blackberry Botox® .  Some feel it’s premature for young women to get Botox® while others feel that a light Botox® treatment (approximately 15 to 20 units) does wonders to erase crows feet as well as fine surface lines around the brow and forehead.

Dr. Zimmet treats patients in their twenties and thirties, provided they have no contraindications and understand the potential benefits, risks and alternatives.  Botox® not only improves women’s appearance but helps prevent the worsening of lines over time.  In his experience, Botox® is very well tolerated with significant side effects being very rare.

Geek Squad’s Stephanie Albertina provided some tips to help women prevent the mobile phone wrinkle blues:

1. Take a break – It’s important to put down or at least glance up from your smartphone regularly so that your eyes can rest. Though squinting is necessary when using a smartphone, taking time to relax your eyes can significantly reduce this new type of strain on your facial muscles.

2. Turn the light down low – Too much light and contrast can have cause you to narrow the eyes to take in the brightness; a no-no for fresh-looking eye contours. Combat the dreaded ‘crow’s feet’ effect by dimming the screen in your ‘settings’ options – and see how low you can go on the light emission. The less, the better (as a bonus, this will also help preserve your phone’s battery life!)

3. Enlarge the text – If you find yourself struggling to read the small text on your smartphone and holding it so close you wrinkle your nose so much it hurts, just enlarge the text by simply going to your settings and altering the text size. Also, the zoom function can be a fantastic thing.  Use it to focus in on images on your device so you can see much more clearly and avoid pulling the inner eye.

4. Looking after your eyes – If you can bear it, spend less time glued to your iPhone or Blackberry. During this timeout, take some deep breaths to relax the face into a more natural expression, and gently  massage the area around the eyes.  It’s a simple thing that can make a big difference to preventing those lines that starts subtly, but can get deeper and more pronounced. Not only will your face be serene looking, you will feel more serene – and in a much better state to deal with any inbox horrors.

5. Don’t forget to smile! If you are experiencing stress from being constantly attached to your smartphone, just think about the potentially negative effect this is having on your youthful appearance. Then, take some time to do something to relieve the tension, like playing on a fun app, like TomCat or Angry Birds; this will help relax your face, soften your expression and prevent long term frown lines.

Photo:  Ed Yourdon

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