We bundle up in the winter months to avoid exposing our skin to chilly temps. Given this, it would seem illogical that some people—including celebrities—are paying big bucks to spend several minutes in chambers filled with exceptionally cold air. Spending time in these chambers, in which temperatures can be as low as -300 degrees Fahrenheit, has been advertised as a cure to everything from arthritis to Alzheimer’s disease. But do they really work?
While they aren’t ready to say that these devices definitively do not work, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) does warn that there isn’t evidence to prove that they do.
Lack of evidence: The FDA cannot say whether whole body cryotherapy works or if it doesn’t. This is because no entire body cryotherapy device has gone through the FDA 510k clearance process, a process by which evidence is submitted to the FDA to provide that a device works before it’s marketed to the public.
There has also been no fdathirdpartyreview related to any whole body cryotherapy device, making it impossible for the FDA to support the use of these devices in the treatment of the myriad ailments that the device claims to treat.
Potential dangers:Even though it’s not proven to work, there’s no danger in trying it, right? Well, not quite. According to the FDA, the treatment does pose some risks as described.
Due to the nature of the treatment, the FDA warns that people who try it could be exposing themselves to risks of asphyxiation and hypoxia, which is oxygen deficiency. Additionally, they could receive typical cold exposure-related injuries, including frostbite and burns.
Suggested steps: Whether whole body cryotherapy is the magical cure that so many are seeking remains to be seen. What is certain, however, is that the treatment should not be entered into lightly. If you are considering using this treatment, it’s advisable to first consult your doctor, suggests the FDA. This treatment isn’t for everyone. Only your doctor will know if you have risk factors that could enhance the likelihood that you receive an injury from use of this treatment. By speaking to your doctor pre-treatment, you ensure that you’re fully apprised of your risks and enable yourself to make an informed decision.