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J Invest Dermatol. 2015 Nov;135(11):2623-2631. doi: 10.1038/jid.2015.233. Epub 2015 Jun 22.

Transient Alterations of Cutaneous Sensory Nerve Function by Noninvasive Cryolipolysis.

Author information

1
Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital; Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. Electronic address: lgaribyan@partners.org.
2
Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital; Department of Anesthesia, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.
3
Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital; Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.
4
Cutaneous Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital; Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.

Abstract

Cryolipolysis is a noninvasive, skin cooling treatment for local fat reduction that causes prolonged hypoesthesia over the treated area. We tested the hypothesis that cryolipolysis can attenuate nociception of a range of sensory stimuli, including stimuli that evoke itch. The effects of cryolipolysis on sensory phenomena were evaluated by quantitative sensory testing (QST) in 11 healthy subjects over a period of 56 days. Mechanical and thermal pain thresholds were measured on treated and contralateral untreated (control) flanks. Itch duration was evaluated following histamine iontophoresis. Unmyelinated epidermal nerve fiber and myelinated dermal nerve fiber densities were quantified in skin biopsies from six subjects. Cryolipolysis produced a marked decrease in mechanical and thermal pain sensitivity. Hyposensitivity started between two to seven days after cryolipolysis and persisted for at least thirty-five days post treatment. Skin biopsies revealed that cryolipolysis decreased epidermal nerve fiber density, as well as dermal myelinated nerve fiber density, which persisted throughout the study. In conclusion, cryolipolysis causes significant and prolonged decreases in cutaneous sensitivity. Our data suggest that controlled skin cooling to specifically target cutaneous nerve fibers has the potential to be useful for prolonged relief of cutaneous pain and might have a use as a research tool to isolate and study cutaneous itch-sensing nerves in human skin.

PMID:
26099028
PMCID:
PMC4640987
DOI:
10.1038/jid.2015.233
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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