Trendy cryo-chambers are not safe or backed by science, experts have warned after a 71-year-old man suffered a cold burn injury.
The unnamed man used cold therapy to ease his arthritis and back pain.
But he developed a blistering rash on his back after a nozzle in the cryo-chamber malfunctioned, causing liquid nitrogen to spray directly onto his skin.
Cryo-chambers rose in prominence last September after actor Mark Wahlberg's daily routine went viral.
The Ted star, who wakes at 2.30am and is in bed by 7.30pm, claimed he spends an hour every day undergoing 'cryo-chamber recovery' following a 95-minute workout and half-an-hour of golf.
But experts have now warned the therapy can be dangerous and there is no proof it boosts muscle recovery.
An unnamed 71-year-old man suffered a cold burn injury while in a cyro-chamber to ease his arthritis and back pain. A nozzle malfunctioned, causing liquid nitrogen to spray directly onto his skin. After experiencing no initial discomfort, he later developed a blistering rash
Cyro-chambers rose in prominence last September after actor Mark Wahlberg's daily routine (right) went viral. The Ted star (left), who wakes at 2.30am and is in bed by 7.30pm, claimed he spends an hour every day undergoing 'cyro chamber recovery' following a 95-minute workout
'With the rise of cryotherapy facilities and the ease that consumers can be treated, it’s important to spread awareness of the harmful side effects,' said Dr Jordan Wang of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where the patient was treated.
'Most consumers are unaware of the potential side effects and the lack of data behind how useful treatments are.'
Cold therapy has long been used to treat skin conditions, including viral warts.
More recently, whole body cryo-chambers have reportedly helped ease pain and inflammation in multiple sclerosis and arthritis patients.
Spas and wellness centres are also increasingly offering cold therapy under the promise it speeds up muscle recovery, boosts energy and aids sleep.
Whole-body cryotherapy involves standing in a chamber with your head on the outside.
The rest of the body is engulfed in a liquid nitrogen mist, which can reach temperatures as low as -140°C (-220°F), for up to five minutes.
The 71-year-old man is thought to have been burned after less than one minute of the liquid nitrogen spraying on his back, according to a report published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
He experienced no stinging or pain at the time and therefore was not given first aid.