Illegal practice of medicine

Beauty institutions cannot practice cryotherapy

Publié le null - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Cryotherapy is reserved for doctors and physiotherapists acting under medical prescription. This is what the Court of Cassation just recalled in the judgment of the Criminal Chamber on May 10, 2022.

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Image 1Crédits: © Jacob Lund -

An aesthetic practice performed a cryotherapy session on a client. The latter suffered frostbite, causing him a total incapacity for work of one and a half months. The Paris Court of Appeal noted that cryotherapy must be performed by health professionals. Thus, all non-medical professionals who engage in cryotherapy may be convicted of practicing medicine illegally.

The Court of Cassation upholds the Court of Appeal's judgment. It concerns a decree of January 1962 which lists the acts reserved for doctors and the public health code for the acts reserved for masseurs-kinesitherapists. For judges, cryotherapy is not allowed to non-medical professionals, even if it is a comfort operation without a restorative medical purpose.

The Court of Cassation adds that this is a necessary and proportionate limit for the protection of public health.