3 Uses For Cryotherapy
If you watch television at all or peruse magazines, you may have recently seen intriguing commercials and advertisements for a relatively new medical procedure that uses extreme cold to kill fats cells. This state-of-the-art process is called cryotherapy, and it is on the cutting edge of medical technology. It is used for more than just weight loss, though. Here is a look at some of the other applications for this exciting wave of the future.
Dermatologists have been using cryotherapy for a while now in limited applications. Warts, which have various causes but are usually caused by the human papillomavirus, have been successfully eradicated by freezing them off.
Eczema, which is characterized by inflamed, itchy patches of skin that can be unsightly and irritating, and psoriasis, which causes raised red bumps that not only itch but may be painful as well, may also benefit from cryotherapy sessions.
When someone breaks a bone or pulls a muscle, doctors frequently recommend using ice packs to deal with the pain, reduce swelling, and stem bleeding. People sometimes get confused when to use ice versus heat. Ice is recommended for acute injuries whereas heat would be reserved for minor mishaps, such as sore muscles after a challenging workout.
Cryotherapy clinics can also apply the therapy to those with chronic pain, such as the muscle pain caused by disorders like fibromyalgia or dealing with the joint pain in degenerative and inflammatory arthritis.
Cryotherapy surgery, or cryosurgery, can also now be used for some early skin cancers. Actinic keratoses, which are potentially precancerous growths typically caused by sun damage in fair-skinned people, are good candidates for cryotherapy. Squamous cell carcinoma in situ, which is a type of skin cancer that has not advanced deeper than the superficial skin layer, is another good candidate for treating with cryosurgery.
Additionally, cryotherapy may be useful in treating prostate cancer. The physician uses a transrectal ultrasound to guide needles into the area surrounding the prostate. Extremely cold gases are then passed through, with the goal of killing the cancer cells in and around the prostrate. While the procedure does need to be performed under a general anesthesia or epidural, in which the bottom half of the body is numb, it is far less invasive than traditional surgery. The procedure may also be performed along with radiation therapy to ensure all cancerous cells are completely destroyed.