Be Cautious Of These Two Unproven Cosmetic Procedures

You or someone you know may swear by mesotherapy or carboxytherapy, but these two treatments can offer more risks than results. In fact, the Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety recently issued a consumer warning in hopes that potential patients will pick a different procedure.

Despite years of controversy surrounding the treatment, mesotherapy has become a popular choice for both men and women looking to "melt" fat and smooth away cellulite. However, experts are unsure of how safe and effective this mix of drugs, vitamins and enzymes may be, particularly when its injected into the tissue under the skin.

"There is no conclusive, authoritative information that exists, such as unbiased, peer-reviewed clinical studies that meets the standards of an accepted medical journal, measuring both the efficacy and safety of mesotherapy," says Coalition leader, NewBeauty Editorial Advisory Board member and Oregon plastic surgeon Mark Jewell, MD.

Perhaps even riskier than mesotherapy is carboxytherapy, a technique that involves injecting carbon dioxide under the skin to purportedly reduce the look of stretch marks, cellulite and dark circles under the eyes, as well as sculpt fat in the face and body.

"Although many websites or providers claim carboxytherapy is safe and FDA-approved, it has not been clinically tested or FDA-approved for these purposes," explains Coalition leader Robert Weiss, MD. "Carboxytherapy for use around the eyes is especially dangerous. It could potentially release gas bubbles into blood vessels, causing blindness. In addition, the risks of putting carbon dioxide in your body are currently unknown."

If the provider you visit recommends one of these treatments as a solution for your cosmetic concerns, claiming it's proven effective and safe, it would be wise to seek out a different provider.

"Only accept treatment prescribed by a qualified physician and administered under that physician's supervision," Texas-based Coalition leader Jeffrey Kenkel, MD, urges. "Whether an injection or treatment is to treat aging conditions, to treat cellulite or a similar body contouring condition, whether it sounds reasonable or too good to be true, you should always be aware of false claims."