What is cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy is defined as aset of procedures that apply cold as amedical therapy. This application produces a total destruction localized and controlled on the tissue.

To highlight: It leads to arupture of the cell membrane and a neuromuscular actiondue to the application of cold. There is even muscle relaxation that positively influences vasodilation. (1)

What is cryotherapy for?

Cryotherapyhas different orientations, always in the medicinal area. They are usually aesthetic or as treatments due to the nature of their application and principle. That field will be mentioned and described below for identification and recognition.

Benign and malignant skin conditions

Regarding skin conditions, whether benign or malignant, the extreme cold to which the defined tissue is subjected, is used for its destruction. Usually the treatment is oriented to the recovery of skin with lesions of proliferations, that is, that area of the skin does not look like the rest.

Note: The principle of the application of cryotherapy is due to Lipoprotein Denaturation and rupture of the cell membrane. (two)

Muscle pain and inflammation

It happens that the application of cold numbs the tissues, thus reducing pain and also muscle spasms. The same happens with inflammation, especially in lumbar areas.

Note: It is considered highly recommended for these cases, especially due to its biological nature of application.

Toxin drainage

The principle of the application of cryotherapy for the drainage of toxins, is due to the fact that when applying extreme cold to the body tissue, the organism responds by transporting blood to the vital organs , which produces an enrichment of the fluid and purification of toxins.

Note: For these results , cryosaunas are used, which are cabins that release frozen nitrogen to subject the body to extreme cold.

Activation of blood circulation

Due to the conditions to which the body is subjected, a vasoconstriction occurs that forces the body to stimulate blood circulation through the organs.

After the end of exposure to cold, a vasodilation occursthat makes the body feel relaxed and stimulated. Both stages of the process promote blood circulation.

Reduced stress and increased energy

Reduce stressdue to the relaxation sensation approach, after submitting to extreme body temperatures. Especially when it is globalized as in a cryosauna.

Local anesthetic

The application of hydrogen is used to numb the skin and are applied to reduce pain, or produce relief in short or long term issues. Thus, the invasion of the body and the need for injections are reduced, allowing sutures, small incisions and other similar actions.

Contraindications of cryotherapy

Like any medical treatment, there are certain contraindications that must be taken into account. They will be mentioned below for your recognition and contemplation if necessary.

Cold hypersensitivity

This is probably due to the physiological effects it has on our body and because it is extremely sensitive to low temperatures, therefore the treatment would be uncomfortable and difficult for the individual to process.

Vascular alterations

If there are vascular abnormalities, the vasodilation and vasoconstriction effect could have an adverse effect on the body and produce unnecessary and harmful consequences.

Important: It is necessary to take all these factors into account and always carry out everything under medical supervision to consider the necessary risks.


Arteriosclerosis is a condition where plaque accumulates in the arteries , which causes a limitation of the circulation of oxygenated blood.

This pathology, produces for these same reasons, a decrease in sensitivity and thermoregulation , so it is recommended to apply cryotherapy very carefully since burns can occur on the skin.


It is important to reduce the risks by not applying this type of treatment during the gestation period. The application of this therapy is usually used in cases of HPV in pregnancy and it is recommended, if the application is required, that it be external and not go deep into the cervix.

side effects of cryotherapy

Cryotherapy, when applied and being a treatment with strong exposure to low temperatures, usually produces certain side effects that will be mentioned and described below for consideration and identification.

cold burns

Being an extreme cold treatment that is precisely responsible for destroying tissues, a bad application can cause skin burns due to the time and temperature of exposure.

pain and numbness

The risks are obvious. The direct application of low and extreme temperaturesWill produce a sensation of numbness, which is precisely what benefits its application in anesthesia. Plus, an excessive application or exposure will produce consequences and adverse effects.


In cryotherapy, after its application, the tissue goes through a healing process, which means that there is really a cell destruction that has a risk of contracting infections if the care is not correct.

cold urticaria

Cold urticaria is determined as a raised, red bump after direct contact with cold. The application of cryotherapy to patients suffering from this condition, which is produced by the release of histamine in the body, is totally contraindicated.


Among the side effects produced by the application of cryotherapy is the loss of fluids, for which it is recommended to drink enough watertag. Bleeding can also occur and care must be taken to avoid infection or complications.(3)

nerve damage

Totally frozen nerves are not convenient. It is anexcessive application of cryotherapy and can bring consequences, such as muscle weakness and a tingling sensation in the long term.

Key Findings

  • Cryotherapy is a procedure that is usually aimed at tissue recovery through its destruction.
  • It has advantageous applications for circulation, but also a lot of care.
  • For the application of the cryotherapy procedure, medical supervision and approval is needed, since the risks are high and in many cases, unavoidable and irreparable.
  • The benefits of this procedure reside in its application for inflammation, pain and even small incisions as local anesthesia.
  • It can be effectively applied to remove HPV warts, as long as you are not pregnant.
  • There is a minimal risk of infection, and this must be covered by the patient to whom the treatment was applied, correctly following the indications and recommended care.

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