Since the introduction of the neurotoxin BOTOX to treat wrinkles in the forehead, there have been many competitors, such as Dysport who have released similar products in hopes of cashing in on the big business. During the past recession, Allergen, the makers of BOTOX, was one of the few companies that continued to post gains during an otherwise painful economy. And as innovation continues to fuel the growth in the cosmetic industry, new technology is becoming available that may offer even better procedures for patients.
Previously unseen and publicly unveiled at the 2011 annual American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) conference, new technology injecting cold into the forehead can smooth out lines, without the use of neurotoxins.
Cold temperatures have been used for many years to treat nerves for pain relief, it is only recently that it has been used for cosmetic usage. Recently, the media has been a buzz with the Zeltiq CoolSculpting which uses cryolipolysis to treat spot fat by freezing the fat. It seems physicians and scientists are taking the research to heart and finding new uses for the "cold" in the cosmetic industry.
Founder of Beverly Hills International Center for Aesthetic Surgery and co-author of the study for the usage of cold to treat lines in the forehead, Dr. Francis Palmer III says, "This is brand new - we're really presenting just the very early clinical studies that we've been conducting. The company's name is MyoScience and the treatment is call Cryomodulation, which is basically cold induced nerve injury to reduce dynamic lines and wrinkles across the forehead."
Advantages of choosing cold-induced modulation over the traditional neurotoxin is two-fold. "The main advantage is that there's no chemical, there's no toxin, and even the gas is vented. Literally, it is about as green of a treatment as you can get. The cold is doing the work to immediately reduce lines and wrinkles," continues Dr. Palmer, "Second, would be its immediate onset. When you receive treatment, you immediately see results. Immediately, as in seconds - not tonight, not tomorrow, not next week - right now, in seconds after treatment."
The self-contained technology uses a 27-gauge needle which delivers controlled subcutaneous cooling into the facial muscles to relax them and the dynamic wrinkles created. "We have cold therapy that is injected with a probe so there's no gas, no chemical, nothing that we're putting in the tissue," describes Dr. Palmer, "We're targeting the nerves that are responsible for making the muscles contract, which in turn are responsible for creating the lines and wrinkles. We're actually one step removed further from the treatment chain with the neurotoxin since we're targeting the muscle itself."
The cold creates completely reversible temporary nerve injury. "The nerve completely grows back because cold, unlike any of the other technologies that were used to treat nerves, does not disrupt the nylon sheath of the nerve. We get the function but it will still grow back at some period of time and the nerve would remain exactly intact as it was before we treated it," states Dr. Palmer.
Dr. Palmer stresses the fact that the study is still in its very early phases of clinical development and what they are testing right now may not be what the eventual use may be. He says, "The current treatment model is designed to treat lines across the forehead. It take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes to do the entire forehead, both sides, treatments in the temple area."
There has been no serious side effects associated with the treatment. "It's comparable to needle based therapy," says Dr. Palmer, "It's the sort of discomfort and amount of bruising and swelling which will occur whenever you use a needle based therapy." Treatment results appear to be in line with neurotoxin results - approximately 4-6 months - before treatment is necessary again.