What is carboxytherapy?
Carboxytherapy – also called carbon dioxide therapy (or CDT) – is the use of carbon dioxide gas (CO2) for cosmetic body sculpting and skin rejuvenation.
It is a non-surgical treatment, first practised in Europe in the 1950s, and now increasingly popular for
- cellulite and localised fat
- stretch marks (striae)
- acne scars
- skin laxity
- fine lines and wrinkles
- dark under eye circles
- skin tightening.
The most common areas we treat are the face (including eyelids), neck, décolleté, arms, abdomen and thighs.
Carboxytherapy refers to the cutaneous and subcutaneous administration of carbon dioxide gas (CO2) for therapeutic purposes.
How does it work?
Carbon dioxide has medically-beneficial properties, in that it helps blood vessels to dilate or expand. The dilation of blood vessels leads to a decrease in blood pressure and a better flow of oxygen rich blood around the body.
Signs of tired, blemished or ageing skin – such as wrinkles, dark circles under the eyes, scarring and cellulite – may partly be due to poor blood circulation.
The theory behind carboxytherapy is that increasing the delivery of oxygen to skin cells helps to speeds up the production of new, healthy skin cells.
By injecting small amounts of CO2 into subcutaneous skin tissue, the treatment ‘tricks’ the body into increasing this oxygen uptake.
When they encounter an area with high CO2 levels, red blood cells ‘off-load’ their oxygen and pick up the carbon dioxide ‘waste’. The body naturally eliminates CO2 when it is exhaled through the lungs.
As well as increasing the flow of oxygenated blood to the injected area, carboxytherapy is also thought to increase collagen formation in the skin.
What happens during the procedure?
We inject the CO2 using a thin needle, which is attached by a tube to the machine that delivers a controlled dose of the gas.
The tubing is sterile and has a filter at the end to remove any trace impurities from the gas before it is injected.
The depth of the injection and rate of flow of CO2 depends on the area and condition we are treating. With cellulite, for example, the carbon dioxide is delivered deeper into the subcutaneous layer of the skin. We control the speed of the gas with a flow-regulator on the carboxytherapy device.
Most treatments take between 15 and 30 minutes.
Is carboxytherapy painful?
Carboxytherapy is painless, although you may feel slight discomfort, pressure or a stinging sensation as the gas enters the skin.
The sensation varies a little, depending on which area we are treating.
We can apply a topical anaesthetic to your skin if you need it.
Are there any side effects?
There are no known risks associated with carboxytherapy. Carbon dioxide injections have been a safe medical procedure for many years.
You may feel a warm sensation in the treated areas for up to 24 hours, particularly after treatment of cellulite. This is the result of improved circulation to the area.
You may also have a small bruise and tenderness at the site of the injection. This is common for any injection and may last for a few days.
If you have had treatment for your eyelids, they will feel puffy for a few minutes until the gas is fully absorbed.
Other side effects include minor swelling and redness (caused by the dilatation of the blood vessels).
Is there any downtime?
You should be able to return to work and normal activities immediately after treatment.
However, we do recommend that you avoid bathing or swimming for the first few hours after your carboxytherapy treatment
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments you need depends on the severity of your skin condition.
We usually recommend a course of between 6 and 12 treatments, at intervals of a week, for the best result for most conditions.
For new stretch marks that are not severe, a single session may be enough. Most, however, may need treatment once a week for 2 to 4 weeks. Older stretch marks may need 3 or 4 treatment sessions at intervals of 3 or 4 weeks.
For cellulite, you should see a smoother appearance to your skin immediately. Your skin should continue to become firmer over time, as your blood circulation improves and you burn away excess fat.
How long do the results last?
The duration of the results depends on the area treated, but in most cases should be about six months.
We recommend top-up sessions every 6 months, and continuing with a healthy lifestyle, to maintain the results.
For more information about carboxytherapy, and to book your consultation with one of our specialists, please contact us at Dr MediSpa.