Anti-aging is a topic that is gaining lots of interest from the general public and scientific community alike. There is an increasing demand for products and services that focus on anti-aging, and numerous companies are attempting to market themselves in this niche. Amongst the multiple natural processes that occur due to aging, the removal, and prevention of wrinkles, and general skin care is a popular topic.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)
Although there are numerous creams and other products developed in order to maintain youthful skin, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, also known as HBOT, is the newest trend. A recent article was published by Sarah Barclay, a journalist for the Daily Mail UK, in which she shared her opinions after receiving HBOT. She is a “frazzled 51-year-old mother of teenagers” who was interested in this new method. She reports that she went to the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Centre and notes their marketed claims. HBOT “aims to help you heal faster, boost collagen production, increase energy, and even improve neurological function.” Robert Pender, a physiotherapist who runs the clinic, states that HBOT can also help speed up cell growth and increases the number of stem cells by up to eight times. This, in theory, would be beneficial for the skin in multiple ways, as stem cells play an important role in tissue and wound repair, which would promote faster repair of damaged skin cells, subsequently reducing wrinkles’ appearance.
What is it?
So, what exactly is HBOT and how does it differ from the other products and services aimed to remove wrinkles currently available on the market? HBOT is the use of concentrated oxygen, delivered under increased atmospheric pressure while in a chamber. In our atmosphere, the percentage of concentrated oxygen is only 21 percent, whereas HBOT uses 97.5 percent. This drastic increase in concentration means that up to 15 times as much oxygen can be taken into our lungs and subsequently pushed into our bloodstream. This increased oxygen also boosts the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the basic energy molecule that supports most life. This increased ATP production also can be used to speed up healing. During HBOT, an individual is placed in a chamber and has a clear face mask placed on their face to deliver the concentrated oxygen.
Ultimately what this extensive and somewhat daunting process does is makes your body’s naturally occurring processes more effective and efficient. The pressure in the chamber is equivalent to being 33ft under water. It takes five minutes to slowly shift from normal room pressure to the high-pressure environment, which she sat in for an hour. She reports that the sensation was similar to being in a plane – “slightly sinusy, but not uncomfortable.” She states she was able to get comfortable and quickly adapted to the new environment. Although Sarah reports that she didn’t notice any drastic changes after her session was over, she didn’t feel tired after a work meeting she had later that day. Her energy levels are increased and she doesn’t feel the typical mid-afternoon slump.
This increase in energy is steady even until her bedtime where she states that her eyes are usually falling shut around 10 PM, but that night she went to sleep around 12:45 AM, still full of energy. Also interestingly, Sarah reports that she woke up at 7:30 in the morning feeling completely rejuvenated without the after-effects of a long night. This increase in energy lasted 24 hours. She states that she wasn’t able to notice any drastic improvements in her skin after one session, but her complexion felt better.
Pender states that the best anti-aging results can be seen after three sessions. It is unclear at this point whether or not there is significant evidence to suggest that HBOT has noticeable anti-aging effects on the skin, and it will require some more research. Even so, based on the positive testimonial of one writer who experienced it for herself, there might be something to this new method and its potential uses for anti-aging and particularly anti-aging effects on the skin. It might be worth a shot to further investigate HBOT.