Is Cryotherapy Good for Eczema? The Ultimate Guide to Relieving Symptoms

Are you a sufferer of eczema and tired of trying every treatment out there with no success? What if I told you there’s a new treatment option on the block that’s been gaining popularity in recent years? That’s right, folks – I’m talking about cryotherapy. But is cryotherapy good for eczema? The answer may surprise you.

For those who don’t know, cryotherapy involves exposing your body to extremely cold temperatures for short periods of time to manage pain, inflammation, and other symptoms. While it’s been used for various health issues in the past, it’s only recently become a topic of interest for eczema sufferers. Some claim that the short bursts of cold help reduce itching and swelling associated with eczema, leading to clearer, smoother skin. But is there any scientific evidence to back up these claims?

While the idea of freezing your skin to combat eczema may seem daunting, many people have reported real results. From alleviating itching to reducing inflammation, it’s clear that cryotherapy has potential as a treatment option for eczema sufferers. So, if you’re someone who’s tired of struggling with this frustrating skin condition, it may be worth giving cryotherapy a shot – because the relief you’ve been looking for could be just a few freezing moments away.

What is Cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy, is a technique that involves exposing the body to extremely low temperatures for several minutes. The purpose of cryotherapy is to trigger the body’s natural healing response, which can alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and improve overall well-being.

During a cryotherapy session, a person enters a cryo chamber where they are surrounded by a cloud of nitrogen gas. The temperature during the session can reach as low as -200 to -300 degrees Fahrenheit, sending the body into a state of cold-induced shock. Although the idea of subjecting oneself to such extreme temperatures might seem daunting, cryotherapy has become an increasingly popular treatment among athletes, chronic pain sufferers, and individuals looking to boost their overall wellness.

What Causes Eczema?

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. The exact cause of eczema is unknown, but there are several factors that contribute to its development.

  • Genetics: Research shows that eczema tends to run in families, and certain genetic variations may increase the risk of developing the condition.
  • Environmental factors: Exposure to certain triggers such as irritants, allergens, and stress can cause eczema to flare up.
  • Immunodeficiency: Eczema is often associated with immune dysfunction, which causes the body to overreact to harmless substances, leading to inflammation and tissue damage.

There are also several medical conditions that can contribute to the development of eczema, including:

  • Asthma: People with asthma are more likely to develop eczema because both conditions are related to an overactive immune system.
  • Allergies: Environmental allergies such as hay fever can trigger eczema flare-ups.
  • Dry skin: People with dry skin are more susceptible to eczema because the condition causes the skin to become inflamed and itchy.
  • Hormonal changes: Women may experience eczema flare-ups during pregnancy or menstrual periods due to hormonal changes.


While the exact cause of eczema is unknown, there are several factors that contribute to its development. Genetics, environment, immune dysfunction, and medical conditions can all play a role in the development of eczema. Understanding these factors can help people manage and treat their eczema more effectively.

Causes of Eczema Factors
Genetic Family history, genetic variations
Environment Irritants, allergens, stress
Immunodeficiency Overactive immune system
Medical conditions Asthma, allergies, dry skin, hormonal changes

By addressing these underlying causes, people with eczema can manage their condition and live a more comfortable life.

How is eczema typically treated?

There are various treatments available for eczema, depending on the severity of the condition. Here are the three typical treatments:

  • Moisturizers: Keeping the skin moisturized is key to managing eczema. Using a good moisturizer can help prevent dryness and irritation. Look for a moisturizer that’s free of fragrances and irritants.
  • Steroids: Topical steroids can be used to reduce inflammation and itching. They come in different strengths and should be used as directed by a doctor.
  • Immunomodulators: These are medications that help regulate the immune system. They can be used to treat moderate to severe eczema and are often used when topical steroids aren’t effective.

While these treatments can help manage eczema symptoms, they may not work for everyone. It’s important to consult with a doctor to determine the best course of treatment.

What are the potential benefits of cryotherapy for eczema?

Cryotherapy is a type of alternative therapy that involves exposing the skin to extremely cold temperatures for a short period of time. It has been suggested that cryotherapy may alleviate the symptoms associated with eczema, a chronic skin condition characterized by inflammation, itching, and redness. Here are some of the potential benefits of cryotherapy for eczema:

  • Reduced inflammation: Cryotherapy may help reduce skin inflammation, which is a hallmark symptom of eczema. The cold temperatures can cause blood vessels to constrict, which may decrease the amount of inflammatory molecules that are released in the skin.
  • Pain relief: In addition to reducing inflammation, cryotherapy may also provide pain relief for individuals with eczema. Some studies have found that applying cold to the skin can decrease the activity of pain receptors.
  • Improved skin barrier function: Cryotherapy may help improve the skin barrier function, which is often compromised in individuals with eczema. This is because the cold temperatures can cause the skin cells to contract, which may help create a tighter and more resilient skin barrier.

While cryotherapy may offer some potential benefits for eczema, it is important to note that more research is needed to determine its effectiveness and safety. Additionally, cryotherapy may not be appropriate for everyone and should be performed under the guidance of a trained healthcare professional.

In summary, cryotherapy may be a promising alternative therapy for eczema. Its potential benefits include reduced inflammation, pain relief, and improved skin barrier function. However, individuals with eczema should consult with a healthcare professional before trying cryotherapy, and more research is needed to determine its efficacy and overall safety.

How does cryotherapy work?

Cryotherapy is a treatment that involves exposing the body to extremely cold temperatures in order to promote various health benefits. In the case of eczema, cryotherapy aims to reduce inflammation and numb the skin to relieve itching and discomfort. But how exactly does cryotherapy work within the body?

  • During cryotherapy, the body is exposed to temperatures ranging from -100°C to -140°C for a period of two to four minutes. This extreme cold causes the body to go into survival mode, triggering a number of physiological responses that benefit the body.
  • First, the cold temperature causes the blood vessels in the skin to constrict, directing blood away from the periphery and towards the vital organs. This is a protective measure to prevent the body’s core temperature from dropping too low.
  • Next, the body begins to release endorphins and other natural painkillers, which help to reduce discomfort and ease pain.
  • The cold temperature also reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels and reducing blood flow to the affected area. This helps to relieve swelling and redness, and can also reduce itching and promote healing.
  • Finally, cryotherapy has been shown to boost the immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells. This can help to improve overall health and prevent future illness.

Overall, cryotherapy works by triggering a number of physiological responses within the body that promote healing and relieve discomfort. While it may not be a cure for eczema, it can be a helpful addition to a comprehensive treatment plan.

Does Cryotherapy Have Any Potential Side Effects?

While cryotherapy can offer various benefits for eczema sufferers, it also comes with some potential side effects. Here are some of the most common side effects of cryotherapy:

  • Skin irritation: It’s normal to experience some redness, itching, and swelling in the treated area after cryotherapy. However, if these symptoms persist, you should consult with your physician immediately.
  • Blisters: Cryotherapy can cause blisters to form in the treated area. This is more common for individuals with sensitive skin.
  • Nerve damage: In rare cases, cryotherapy can cause nerve damage in the treated area. This can result in numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation in the affected area.

It’s important to keep in mind that these side effects are rare and usually temporary. However, you should always consult with your physician before trying cryotherapy, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions or you’re taking medication that might affect your skin’s sensitivity.

If you experience any of the following side effects after cryotherapy, you should seek medical attention immediately:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Severe pain in the treated area
  • Signs of infection, like pus or discharge from the treated area

Overall, cryotherapy is a safe and effective treatment for eczema when performed by a qualified physician. However, it’s essential to know the potential risks and side effects before undergoing the treatment to make an informed decision.

Side Effects How to Deal with It
Skin irritation Apply a cold compress or topical cream to the area and avoid scratching or rubbing it.
Blisters Leave the blisters alone to allow them to heal naturally. If they burst, cover them with a sterile bandage and keep the area clean and dry to prevent infection.
Nerve damage Contact your physician immediately if you experience any numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation in the treated area.

Remember, it’s always best to talk to your dermatologist about the potential side effects of cryotherapy and any other treatments you’re considering for eczema management.

What research has been conducted on the use of cryotherapy for eczema?

Research on the use of cryotherapy for eczema is still in its early stages, as there have been relatively few studies conducted on the topic. However, some limited research has been done, indicating that cryotherapy may be a potentially beneficial treatment for eczema sufferers.

  • A 2019 study published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment found that whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) significantly improved symptoms of eczema in a group of patients, in comparison to a control group who received no treatment. While the study was small, with only 16 participants, it suggests that WBC may be a promising treatment for eczema.
  • Another study from 2018, published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, investigated the use of local cryotherapy (LC) in the treatment of eczema. The study found that LC was effective in reducing the severity of eczema symptoms, particularly itching and redness. While the study was also small, with only 20 participants, it provides evidence that LC may be a useful treatment option for eczema sufferers.
  • More research is needed to determine the long-term effectiveness and safety of cryotherapy for eczema, as well as the optimal treatment protocols for each individual patient.

Despite the limited research conducted so far, some experts believe that cryotherapy may have potential as a treatment for eczema. However, it is important to note that cryotherapy should be used in conjunction with other treatments, and patients should consult with a dermatologist or healthcare provider before trying any new eczema treatment.

Study Method Results
Journal of Dermatological Treatment, 2019 Whole-body cryotherapy Significant improvement in eczema symptoms in participants
Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 2018 Local cryotherapy Effective in reducing eczema symptoms, particularly itching and redness

In summary, while research on the effectiveness of cryotherapy for eczema is limited, early studies suggest that it may be a potentially promising treatment option. More research is needed to determine its long-term effectiveness and safety for eczema sufferers.

What are some alternative therapies for treating eczema?

While cryotherapy has been shown to provide relief for eczema sufferers, there are several alternative therapies to consider as well.

  • Acupuncture: This traditional Chinese medicine practice involves inserting fine needles into specific points on the body to stimulate energy flow and promote healing. Some studies have shown that acupuncture can improve symptoms and quality of life for those with eczema.
  • Aromatherapy: Essential oils like lavender, chamomile, and tea tree have been used to soothe itchy, inflamed skin. They can be applied topically or diffused into the air.
  • Herbal remedies: Some herbs like chamomile, licorice root, and turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties and can be taken as supplements or used topically in creams or ointments.

It’s important to note that while these alternative therapies may provide relief for some eczema sufferers, they may not work for everyone. It’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before trying any new treatment.

What is wet wrap therapy?

Wet wrap therapy is a technique that involves applying a moisturizer or topical medication to the skin, covering it with damp bandages (usually cotton or muslin), and leaving them on for a few hours or overnight. The bandages help to lock in moisture and increase the effectiveness of the medication.

While wet wrap therapy can be a helpful treatment for eczema, it should be done under the guidance of a healthcare professional to ensure safety and effectiveness.

What is the anti-inflammatory diet?

The anti-inflammatory diet involves eating foods that can help reduce inflammation in the body. This can be helpful for eczema sufferers, as the condition is often linked to inflammation.

Some foods to include in an anti-inflammatory diet are:

Fruits Veggies Whole grains
Berries Kale Brown rice
Oranges Spinach Oats
Apples Broccoli Quinoa

It’s also important to include healthy fats, like those found in nuts, seeds, and fatty fish, while avoiding processed foods, refined sugars, and saturated fats. As with any diet, it’s best to speak with a healthcare professional before making any major changes.

Can cryotherapy be used in combination with other eczema treatments?

Cryotherapy, the use of extreme cold to freeze and remove abnormal tissues, is often used as a standalone treatment for eczema. However, it can also be used in combination with other eczema treatments to enhance their benefits or to address different aspects of the condition. Here are some eczema treatments that can be combined with cryotherapy:

  • Topical medications: Topical medications such as corticosteroids and calcineurin inhibitors are commonly used to manage eczema symptoms. Cryotherapy can help these medications penetrate deeper into the skin, leading to more effective results.
  • Moisturizers: Moisturizers help hydrate and soothe dry skin that is common in eczema. Cryotherapy can improve their absorption and prolong their moisturizing effect.
  • Light therapy: Light therapy involves the use of specific wavelengths of light to reduce inflammation and stimulate healing. Cryotherapy can enhance the effect of light therapy by reducing inflammation in the targeted areas.

Combining cryotherapy with other eczema treatments requires careful consideration and consultation with a healthcare provider. The effect of the combination may vary depending on the severity and type of eczema, as well as the individual’s overall health condition.

Below is a table summarizing the potential benefits and considerations of combining cryotherapy with other eczema treatments:

Eczema treatment Potential benefits of combination Considerations for combination
Topical medications Increased penetration and efficacy Possible skin irritation or sensitivity
Moisturizers Improved absorption and moisturizing effect Possible skin irritation or sensitivity
Light therapy Enhanced anti-inflammatory effect Possible skin irritation or sensitivity

Overall, cryotherapy can be a valuable addition to the treatment plan of eczema patients. When used in combination with other treatments, it can provide synergistic benefits and improve the overall outcome.

How can individuals with eczema prepare for a cryotherapy session?

Cryotherapy has been found to be a potential treatment for eczema, but before undergoing a cryotherapy session, there are certain preparations that individuals with eczema should consider to maximize the potential benefits of the treatment while minimizing the risk of any side effects. Below are some tips on how to prepare for a cryotherapy session if you have eczema:

  • Consult with a dermatologist: Before scheduling a cryotherapy session, individuals with eczema should consult with a dermatologist to ensure that cryotherapy is safe and appropriate for their specific condition. The dermatologist can provide recommendations on the frequency and duration of the sessions based on the severity of the eczema and the individual’s overall health status.
  • Avoid scratching or picking at the affected areas: People with eczema should avoid scratching or picking at the affected areas for at least 24 hours before a cryotherapy session to reduce the risk of skin damage or infection during the treatment.
  • Cleanse the affected areas: Prior to a cryotherapy session, individuals with eczema should wash the affected areas with a gentle cleanser and pat the skin dry with a soft towel. This helps to remove any dirt, oil, or bacteria that can interfere with the treatment and cause skin irritation.

In addition to the above tips, individuals with eczema should also be aware of the potential side effects of cryotherapy and take steps to minimize their risk. Some common side effects include skin redness, swelling, blistering, and itching. To minimize the risk of these side effects, individuals with eczema should:

  • Hydrate: Drinking plenty of water before and after a cryotherapy session helps to hydrate the skin and reduce the risk of skin irritation.
  • Wear protective clothing: Wearing loose-fitting clothing made from breathable fabrics like cotton can help to reduce skin irritation and allow the skin to breathe during and after a cryotherapy session.
  • Avoid exposure to heat or sunlight: Exposure to heat or sunlight can aggravate eczema symptoms and increase the risk of skin irritation after a cryotherapy session. Individuals with eczema should avoid activities that involve exposure to heat or sunlight for at least 24 hours after a cryotherapy session.

By following these tips, individuals with eczema can prepare for a cryotherapy session and maximize the potential benefits of this treatment for their condition.

Final Thoughts

So, is cryotherapy good for eczema? While the studies and anecdotal evidence seem to show benefits, it’s always best to consult with a doctor or dermatologist before trying any new treatment. Depending on the severity of your eczema, cryotherapy may be a viable option for finding relief from your symptoms. And who knows, it might just become your new favorite way to cool off in the summer! Thanks for taking the time to read this article, and be sure to check back for more helpful tips and information in the future.