Can Carbon Dioxide Eliminate Cellulite?

The quest for a cellulite cure remains an uphill battle, but there's a new player that's garnering buzz: carboxytherapy.

Presently available at only a handful of locations in the U.S., such as New York City's Wellpath Spa, Carboxytherapy involves tiny injections of carbon dioxide into the skin's subcutaneous tissue. This treatment claims to attack cellulite in two ways: the gas actually dissolves fat cells and dilates the capillaries, which increases oxygen flow to the area, eliminating built-up fluid.

Since no topical anesthesia is used, the treatment may be slightly uncomfortable, and you may see bruising afterwards. Some patients report a tingling sensation near the injection sites, but the treatment takes only 10 to 15 minutes. A series of 15 to 20 sessions (twice a week) are recommended to improve cellulite, though initial results may be seen after four or five sessions.

Initial reaction to carboxytherapy has been enthusiastic, but this treatment is not FDA approved yet, and it's still too new to judge its efficacy, both short- and long-term. In addition, the potential risks carbon dioxide may pose to the body and bloodstream remain unknown.