You may have read or heard about an exciting, innovative treatment for reinvigorating the whole body: cryotherapy. At Bay Area Cosmetic Dermatology, we’re pleased to be the first practice to offer whole-body cryotherapy in San Francisco. Long beloved by athletes for its restorative properties, cryotherapy uses the power of intense cold to stimulate your body, giving you the energy and endorphins you need to flourish.
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If you’ve ever had a wart or another type of growth “frozen off,” you’re already familiar with cryotherapy. But whole-body cryotherapy, or WBC, uses a different form of the same technology to reinvigorate the entire body and provide relief from many common ailments.
During a session of WBC, you stand in a single-person chamber cooled by nitrogen gas. The temperature inside the chamber is carefully regulated at all times, and because the chamber is not fully enclosed, your head rises above the heavier nitrogen vapors to allow you to breathe normal air.
WBC has its origins in Japan, where, in the 1970s, it was developed and refined to help alleviate some of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. At Bay Area Cosmetic Dermatology, our physicians like WBC simply because it makes our patients feel good. In addition to reducing painful inflammation, WBC creates a rush of endorphins and a substantial calorie burn, not unlike what you’d experience after a good workout.
Each session takes place in a “cryosauna” in a private treatment room in our San Francisco office. You’ll be asked to completely disrobe and be provided with gloves, socks, and slippers to protect your more sensitive tissues. Male patients will also be given soft cotton underwear. Each treatment lasts only between 2 and 3 minutes — and because the cold air is dry, not moist, it’s quite well tolerated. Some patients report experiencing a brief sensation of “pins and needles” shortly before the treatment ends, but this dissipates quickly afterward.
Following your cryotherapy treatment, you’ll feel invigorated and energetic, and you may notice that some of your everyday aches and pains have subsided. You do not need to bathe before or after treatment, and you can get back to your normal activities immediately after your appointment is over. The intense feeling of well-being created by cryotherapy can last for days.
There is no official regimen for cryotherapy. Some people undergo the therapy on an as-needed basis, while others choose to set up regular appointments. Because of the brevity of a cryotherapy session, many people choose to undergo the therapy before or after a BOTOX® Cosmetic or dermal filler treatment, maximizing the time they spend in our office. With our physicians’ help, you can decide on the plan of action that’s best for you.