The new alternative to anti-wrinkle injections may be a new treatment called ‘wrinkle freezing’, which works on sort of the same principles as anti-wrinkle injections. That is, causing the nerve to stop transmitting a signal to the area, thus reducing wear and tear on skin as it crinkles with our facial movements.
Anti-wrinkle injections work by relaxing the tiny muscles responsible for creating creases in our skin. This is achieved with anti-wrinkle injections into the muscles, which wear off after about four months. This new wrinkle freezing treatment works by freezing the nerve to disable it temporarily.
The wrinkle freezing treatment is called Iovera, and is still in trials in the UK market, in direct competition with anti-wrinkle injections globally. The company is marketing it as the world’s first toxin-free anti-wrinkle treatment for dynamic facial lines (cosmetic speak for wrinkles that are caused by movement).
So how does Iovera wrinkle freezing work?
Unlike anti-wrinkle injections, this technique uses what the manufacturers are calling ‘focused cold therapy’ (cryoneuromodulation), which works instantly by damaging the nerve to the point where it has to grow back – which takes three months, in the meantime rendering the nerve non-functional.
There has already been some competition to regular anti-wrinkle injections that use freezing techniques, with names like ‘cold tox’ or ‘Frotox’, but they haven’t taken off. While many people aren’t that excited about injecting toxins into their bodies (with regular anti-wrinkle injections), others aren’t fond of freezing nerves until they die either. Turns out we still have a long way to go before our natural ageing can be thwarted completely.
What do the clinical trials say?
Official clinical trials have been conducted and continue to be undertaken to see how the treatment is working in real life. Apparently 90 per cent of the trial group had ‘good’ results, but the treatment has had little effect on 10 per cent of the trial group.
Cryoneuromodulation is already used as a form of pain relief in the United States, with cosmetic wrinkle-freezing trials in their final stages. In fact, one of the main ways this treatment may be used in future is as pain relief and headache management.
So how does the Iovera device work?
The wrinkle freezing device has needles sticking out of the end of it that are inserted into the skin to hit the relevant nerve. Liquid nitrogen is passed into the needles, but not the skin, which causes the probes to get frosty. This device currently only treats the muscle that raises the eyebrows (the frontalis), which is a severe limitation.
Anti-wrinkle injections aren’t off the menu just yet
Anti-wrinkle injections have been fine-tuned over many years, and now cosmetic doctors can reshape the jaw, lift the brow, cure migraines, and soften wrinkles, at least temporarily. The Iovera can only do one muscle right now, and this isn’t quite as flexible a treatment as we have come to expect from our cosmetic doctors. The treatment is also painful, and the eyebrows stop working, unlike with anti-wrinkle injections, where a skilled practitioner can ensure everything still works, but the muscles have softened.
The treatment requires a lot further research before it will even come close to competing with anti-wrinkle injections, so we suggest you hold off on these expensive treatments and opt for something you already know and love: anti-wrinkle injections at your favourite Melbourne dermatologist.
We know anti-wrinkle injections.
Contact our Melbourne clinic