A fairly new type of facial cosmetic procedure literally has patients “chilling out” while getting rid of their unwanted facial wrinkles. The procedure is known as Cryotherapy, which uses the body’s natural muscular tightening and relaxation response to cold temperatures to smooth facial wrinkles and lines in the forehead.

Cosmetic physicians sometimes refer to it as Frotox – the cryonic answer to Botox – where toxin-free frigid temps instead of a muscle-numbing chemical are used to achieve similar results. The procedure goes by the more specific identifier: cryoneuromodulation. It’s a fancy way of saying that a very cold tool is used to target the facial nerves responsible for causing the facial muscles to contract. The act of rapidly cooling the skin is akin to being outdoors on a bitterly cold winter’s day. The muscles automatically tense up and blood flows to the affected area.

Cryotherapy involves the use of super cooled “cryoprobes” which are held against the facial nerves in order to weaken and relax them. Proponents of cryotherapy say the results are immediate – no more forehead lines or crow’s feet – and the long-term results show skin rejuvenation and more youthful appearance. The results are also said to last up to four months and the treatment produces no negative side effects. Like Botox, cryotherapy is a non-invasive procedure that can be repeated over time.

Is cryotherapy an effective cosmetic anti-aging treatment, or is it just a transient facial rejuvenating fad? For those who remain cool to the thought of an invasive surgical facelift or repeated injections of the neurotoxin Botox, cryotherapy might be worth a second look. For those seeking more proven and time-tested options in facial rejuvenation, the facelift or Botox may be the way to go. As always, it’s best to consult with a qualified cosmetic physician about what works, what doesn’t, and what’s right for you.

Dr. Kyle S. Choe is a board certified facial plastic surgeon located in Virginia Beach. He can be reached at The Choe Center for Facial Plastic Surgery at 757.389.5850 for a personal consultation.