In today’s society, the quest for a well-defined body has led to the development and prevalence of various fat elimination procedures. These range from invasive methods such as liposuction, which uses suction to remove fat from specific areas of the body like the stomach, hips, thighs, and buttocks, to non-invasive procedures like cryolipolysis (CoolSculpting), injection lipolysis (Kybella), and radiofrequency lipolysis.
What is Cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy, specifically cryolipolysis, is one such popular non-invasive procedure. It uses extreme cold to freeze and destroy fat cells, presenting a compelling alternative to liposuction. The advantages of cryotherapy include its non-surgical nature, minimal downtime, and ability to target specific areas for fat reduction.
However, despite these advantages, one downside to cryotherapy is the relatively slow healing process. After the procedure, patients may experience redness, swelling, and numbness in the treated area. These side effects are temporary but can be uncomfortable and last for several weeks as the body heals and adjusts to the treatment.
Healing Process – Cryotherapy Stages Of Healing
On the topic of speeding up healing from cryotherapy, it’s important to understand the stages of healing. The healing process after cryotherapy involves several stages, each requiring specific care:
Initiation of “Fight or Flight” Response: Immediately after cryotherapy, the body initiates a “fight or flight” response. The treated area will be inflamed, painful, and swollen.
Continuation of the Body’s Natural Defenses (1-2 days after treatment): The body continues its natural defenses to heal the treated area. It is crucial to care for yourself during this period by washing the treated area gently with fragrance-free soap and water daily.
Formation of Scab (First Week after Treatment): A scab will form over the treated area, which is part of the body’s natural healing process. During this time, many people leave the treated spots uncovered and allow them to heal naturally.
Scab Fall Off (Between 1-2 weeks after treatment): The scab will fall off, revealing new skin underneath. The risk of infection is extremely low at this stage, but any pain, redness, or swelling should be monitored closely.
Full Recovery (Between 1-3 weeks after treatment): Full healing occurs between one and three weeks, depending on the area of the body that was treated. With proper care, scarring usually doesn’t occur.
Potential Discoloration (3 weeks after treatment and beyond): Discoloration of the skin is very common after cryotherapy and can last for some time.
Remember, everyone’s body heals at different rates, and this timeline may vary slightly from person to person. Always consult your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about your healing process.
Post-Treatment Care: Tips for Faster Healing
It is essential to take good care of your body and the treated area after a procedure like cryotherapy in order to promote healing. Here are four crucial recovery suggestions:
Hydrate & Feed Your Body
The body’s capacity to heal itself depends critically on proper nutrition and hydration. When your body is well-hydrated, it can transport nutrients and oxygen more efficiently to the cells that need them for repair.
In addition to aiding in the removal of toxins and reducing inflammation, drinking plenty of water can hasten the healing process. At least eight glasses should be consumed each day, with more if you are active or it is a hot day.
Nutrition plays a similar role. Consuming a well-balanced diet full of protein, vitamins, and minerals can give your body the building blocks it needs to repair damaged cells. Whole grains, lean meats, fruits, and vegetables are all healthy options.
Avoid Irritating the Area
It is crucial to refrain from picking or scratching the area that has been treated. While it might be tempting, especially if the area is itchy or flaky, doing so can introduce bacteria, leading to infection and delaying the healing process. Scarring might result as well. Applying a cold compress or using an over-the-counter anti-itch cream suggested by your doctor should be used instead if the area is itchy.
Use Recommended Skincare Products
Some creams and ointments can promote healing and soothe any discomfort post-treatment. For example, a trolamine-containing topical emulsion has been shown to accelerate wound healing post-cryotherapy. Only use skincare products that your doctor has prescribed because some of them may contain ingredients that irritate the skin or delay healing.
Follow Your Healthcare Provider’s Advice
Finally, always heed the counsel of your healthcare professional. They understand your individual health needs and the specifics of your treatment better than anyone. They may provide specific instructions on how to care for the treated area, when to start exercising again, or whether you need to take any medications. Following these recommendations can help guarantee a quick and painless recovery.
These actions will help you recover from cryotherapy more quickly and thoroughly, allowing you to resume your regular activities sooner.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cryotherapy
Q1: What is cryotherapy?
A1: The treatment technique known as cryotherapy uses extremely low temperatures to destroy abnormal tissue, including fat cells. It’s often used for cosmetic purposes, such as fat reduction, but also has medical applications, such as treating skin lesions and certain types of cancer.
Q2: How does cryotherapy work?
A2: Cryotherapy works by freezing the targeted cells, which damages their structure and leads to their destruction. Eventually, the body naturally gets rid of these cells.
Q3: Is cryotherapy safe?
A3: When performed by a qualified professional, cryotherapy is generally considered safe. However, like any treatment, it does have potential side effects, including redness, numbness, tingling, and skin irritation.
Q4: How long does it take to heal from cryotherapy?
A4: The length of time it takes for cryotherapy wounds to heal varies depending on the patient and the severity of the treatment. Generally, the skin will heal in about 7 to 10 days.
Q5: Can I go back to my normal activities after cryotherapy?
A5: Most people can resume their normal activities immediately after cryotherapy. However, some may experience temporary discomfort or need to avoid certain activities depending on the treated area.
Q6: How can I speed up healing from cryotherapy?
A6: You can aid your recovery by staying hydrated, eating a healthy diet, avoiding irritating the treated area, using recommended skincare products, and following your healthcare provider’s advice.
Q7: Are the results of cryotherapy permanent?
A7: In terms of fat reduction, once the fat cells are destroyed by cryotherapy, they cannot come back. However, remaining fat cells can still grow larger if you gain weight. So, to achieve long-lasting results, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential.
Q8: How many cryotherapy sessions will I need?
A8: Your goals and the area being treated will determine how many sessions are required. While some people only need one session to see results, others might need several to get the desired result. You can get a better idea of what to anticipate from your healthcare provider.
Q9: Does cryotherapy hurt?
A9: Most people feel a cold sensation during cryotherapy, but it’s generally not considered painful. Any discomfort usually subsides shortly after the procedure.
Q10: Who should not use cryotherapy?
A10: While cryotherapy is safe for most people, it’s not suitable for everyone. Cryotherapy should not be used by pregnant women, people with certain medical conditions like Raynaud’s disease, poor circulation, or nerve disease, as well as people with severe hypertension or cardiovascular disease. Prior to beginning any new treatment, always seek medical advice.