For many years, cold has been used as a pain treatment with the application of ice. It has an analgesic effect, an anti-inflammatory action and it reduces the arterial blood flow (microcirculation decreases by 28% after 3 minutes of ice application).
However, ice usage cause stiffness, skin irritation, tingling, numbness, or even temporary pain.
That’s why researchers have experimented with new ways to treat pain while avoiding the side effects of ice burns (cold below -1°C).
One of the most famous substitutes for cold today is menthol, an alcohol derivative naturally found in mint. A lot of studies have shown that menthol can be a miraculous natural analgesic: it operates by stimulating the skin’s receptors that react to the cold, recreating a sensation of cold, but actually the skin is warm.
The idea was to formulate a simple product, which reproduces the cold effect but without menthol.
As a result we used Micromatrix® Fractile AN
as a cooling agent and active delivery system. We also utilize Hydrasoft® SEA ER HV
, which is a viscous gel composed from an algae extract. It is used as a texturiser and film forming agent to bring lubricity and freshness.
Our studies proved that this product really refreshes the skin, unlike a product that contains menthol and only gives the illusion of freshness.
We tested Ice Micromatrix®
product with Optris Infrared Thermometers®
, an infrared camera.
The maximum cutaneous refreshment with Ice Micromatrix®
is approximately 6°C after one hour, which represents an improvement of 19%. This long lasting effect is exceptional.
The tested zone (forearm) was at 32,1°C before the application
of Ice Micromatrix®
and at 26,1°C, 60 minutes after application
The microcirculation results proved that Ice Micromatrix®
has an instantaneous and real skin cooling:
- After 5 minutes of product application, microcirculation has decreased by 11,2%
- After 20 minutes of product application, microcirculation has increased by 75,8%
We also tested Ice Micromatrix®
with an Infrared camera. On average, the test area lost 3.1°C in contrast to 2.6°C with a menthol-based product.
These results confirm once again the fact that Ice Micromatrix®
produces an immediate cold effect on the skin, which results in a vasoconstrictor effect and a decrease in microcirculation in a first step. The cooling effect on the skin, and the speed at which it achieves, influences the vasomotor effects, hence the increase in microcirculation after 20 minutes of application. These phenomena would allow massage and drainage of oedema, act on the capillary status of – and sufficiently increase – the circulatory flow.
Consequently, this reduces the amount of histamine, lactic acid, fibrin, and increase PO2 (oxygen partial pressure) or decrease PCO2 (partial pressure of carbon dioxide) involved in inflammatory problems such as during acute rheumatalogical or traumatological conditions. Importantly, it also helps with hematomas that delay the healing process – painful phenomena or spasms delaying active rehabilitation and mobilisation or preventing the early resumption of functional activities.
Such benefits of applying a treatment that really lowers the skin temperature will not only reduce pain but also act to reduce swelling nerve activity.
Pain is something that millions of people deal with on a daily basis. Whilst the underlying cause isn’t always easily detectable or treatable, new technologies like Ice Micromatrix®
developed by The Innovation Company®
, are needed to provide symptom relief.
As we seek to understand what is causing pain and how we can find relief, keep an eye on The Innovation Company® new developments and innovation.