Cryotherapy's rapid ascension to niche-spa-treatment fame may have come to a screeching halt. Chelsea Ake-Salvacion, a 24-year-old esthetician living in Las Vegas, was found dead inside one of the metal chambers used for the extremely cold treatment, reports the Washington Post. Ake-Salvacion was alone at Rejuvenice, the medical spa that she managed, when it is believed she attempted the -240 degrees Fahrenheit treatment for herself. Results from an autopsy are still pending, but medical examiners suggest that Ake-Salvacion froze to death within seconds on October 20.
Though not approved by the FDA to address any condition or disease, cryotherapy is said to smooth wrinkles, reduce inflammation, and boost the immune system. What led to Ake-Salvacion's death at this point remains unknown. Investigators initially ruled her death as a result of "operator error," but this assertion is emphatically rejected by her relatives. Hopefully in the days to follow, a clearer picture will be painted to explain why Ake-Salvacion's life ended so abruptly.