A New York woman is suing over a cryotherapy treatment that she claims left her with serious burns and permanent scars.
Cherie Glassman, a 50-year-old mom from Westchester, is suing Equinox and Nordic Cryotherapy over a treatment gone wrong, reports the New York Post. According to a statement by her lawyer Ben Rubinowitz, Glassman, who was a regular at the Equinox in Armonk, New York, was invited to try a trendy cryotherapy treatment at a mobile treatment center there last June.
You’ve probably seen cryotherapy treatment on your Instagram feed. Clients step into a sub-zero chamber — we’re talking up to 300 below — for a few moments as a killer recovery akin to athletes taking an ice bath. “Whole body cryotherapy involves exposing the body to vapors that reach ultra-low temperatures ranging from minus 200 to minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit,” according to the Food and Drug Administration.
The thing is, though, according to the FDA, there’s no real evidence to back up claims that cryotherapy soothes sore muscles, burns calories, reduces inflammation, or helps with anxiety and depression. “At this time, there’s insufficient publicly available information to help us answer these questions,” FDA scientific reviewer Anna Ghambaryan said in a report in 2016. Since then, the treatment has not been FDA-cleared nor approved as a safe and effective way to treat medical conditions, and little evidence has been found to support its therapeutic claims.
Experts even caution that there are risks associated with the treatment. “Unmonitored exposure to extremely cold temperatures can lead to damage to the skin, which, in some cases, could result in permanent scars,” Joshua Zeichner, director of clinical and cosmetic research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, tells Allure. “We still need studies to fully evaluate its true benefit.”
According to the suit filed by Glassman, she suffered severe and permanent burns to her body and limbs that were so bad she needed skin grafts. “She was complaining and they ignored her complaints. It was just so poorly run,” her lawyer told the New York Post. “She’s still trying to recover.”
The New York Post noted that Nordic Cryotherapy and Equinox did not immediately respond with comment to them for their story. We’ve also reached out to Nordic Cryotherapy, as well as Equinox, for comment and will update this post when we hear back from either companies.
“No matter what type of treatments you undergo, do your best to select a reputable institution,” advises Zeichner. “Before your treatment, make sure to ask about potential risks so you can make the best-informed decisions possible.”
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