Case Study: Whole Body Cryotherapy Causes Cold Burn Injury

December 10, 2018
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A 71-year-old man experienced a blistering cold burn after receiving a whole-body cryotherapy treatment for back pain and arthritis, according to a case study published online in JAAD Case Reports.

Whole-body cryotherapy involves encasing the entire body, apart from the head, in an extremely cold chamber for a short duration. The chamber is cooled by liquid nitrogen, and the patient’s injury likely resulted from a malfunctioning nozzle that sprayed the substance directly onto his back, according to the case study.  Facilities that offer whole-body cryotherapy claim that the treatment provides numerous health benefits, including enhanced muscle recovery, relief of back and muscle pain, and improved sleep, energy and skin health.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any whole-body cryotherapy devices. In fact, the FDA warns against the potential adverse effects of this treatment, including eye injury, frostbite and asphyxiation, in addition to burns.

Researchers treated the  relatively focal and superficial cryotherapy burn with systemic steroids, topical corticosteroids, ibuprofen, and silver sulfadiazine cream.


PHOTO CREDIT: Wiki Commons

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