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New technology 'freezes' wrinkles

Article-New technology 'freezes' wrinkles

Los Angeles — Researchers say early trial results are promising for a new technology that temporarily smoothes forehead wrinkles by freezing the nerves, HealthDay News reports.

The study is being co-authored by Francis Palmer, M.D., director of facial plastic surgery at the University of Southern California School of Medicine. HealthDay News quotes Dr. Palmer as saying the technology is a “toxin-free alternative to treating unwanted lines and wrinkles, similar to what is being done with Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA, Allergan) and Dysport (abobotulinumtoxinA, Medicis). From the early clinical trials, this procedure — which its maker calls cryoneuromodulation — appears to have the same clinical efficacy and safety comparable to the existing techniques.”

According to HealthDay News, the 15-minute procedure consists of the surgeon using small needles, called cryoprobes, to deliver cold to the temporal branch of the frontal nerve. This freezes the nerve, interrupting the nerve signal and relaxing the muscle that causes the forehead lines. The nerve quickly returns to normal body temperature, but the cold temporarily “injures” the nerve, thus temporarily deactivating the wrinkle-causing nerve signal and leaving the forehead smooth for a period of time. No permanent damage is done to the nerve, according to Dr. Palmer.

He said the duration of the smoothing effect appears comparable to that of Botox — about three to four months.

For the study, researchers performed the procedure on 31 people. All exhibited fewer wrinkles after two to eight injections. The most common side effects were headaches and skin redness, and discomfort was comparable to what patients might experience from Botox or filler injections, according to Dr. Palmer.

The technology is being developed by MyoScience of Redwood City, Calif., for which Dr. Palmer is consulting medical director. According to HealthDay News, the company eventually will seed medical device approval from the Food and Drug Administration and may first seek approval in Europe.

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