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What is carboxytherapy?


Carboxytherapy is the administration of carbon dioxide [CO2] gas for cosmetic purposes.

How was carboxytherapy discovered?


Carboxytherapy was discovered in the Royal Spas of France in the 1930’s when bathing in the pools of carbon dioxide-rich waters was shown to speed wound healing. 

How does carboxytherapy work, in general?


Carboxytherapy takes advantage of a physiological principle known as oxygen off-loading.  With every breath, we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. All cells in our body take up the oxygen that we breathe in and use it to perform cell functions. Our cells then give off carbon dioxide, as a waste product of cellular metabolism.

So, how does carboxytherapy work?

By injecting a small amount of carbon dioxide gas directly into the area, we are “tricking” the body into increasing oxygen to the area in order to pick up the excess CO2 that was injected. This leads to not only increased blood flow and nutrients to the area but also increased elimination of toxins and by-products of metabolism.

What are some clinical uses for carboxytherapy?


Carboxytherapy is used for the treatment of dark under-eye circles, loose skin around the eyes, facial wrinkles, stretch marks, cellulite reduction, scars (traumatic, acne) and non-surgical fat sculpting on the face and the body.

What other benefits occur from carboxytherapy?


In addition to increasing oxygenated blood flow to the region injected, carboxytherapy also increases collagen and elastin formation in the skin, giving it a more youthful appearance. 

How does carboxytherapy work for dark under eye circles?


One major cause of dark under eye circles is vascular pooling. The capillary network of the lower eyelids can become congested for a variety of reasons. Venous drainage doesn’t function well, and the blood flow to the lower eyelids becomes sluggish, giving rise to the boggy blue tinge known casually as “allergic shiners.” Carboxytherapy works to improve the capillary network of the lower eyelids, as well as to increase the dermal collagen layer in the lower eyelid skin. By injecting a small amount of carbon dioxide gas into the affected areas, blood flow is increased and improved capillary networks are formed for longer lasting circulatory benefit.



How does carboxytherapy work for stretch marks?


Stretch marks (striae distensae) occur when the skin is stretched to the point where the dermal collagen ruptures. Carboxytherapy causes the formation of new collagen and subsequently thickens the skin to improve the appearance of the stretch marks by rebuilding the collagen matrix.



How does carboxytherapy work for cellulite and fat reduction?


Cellulite is caused by excess fat and fibrous banding of fat pockets. When CO2 is injected directly into the fat pockets, carbon dioxide gas is directly toxic to fat cells. The damaged fat cells are then eliminated from the body due to increased circulation to the area. Also, the fibrous bands of cellulite are loosened by the expansion of the carbon dioxide gas.

How is carboxytherapy administered?


Carboxytherapy is administered by a device specifically made to deliver pure, filtered carbon dioxide gas in a sterile environment. A tiny needle is then inserted into the treatment area.

Is carboxytherapy painful?


Carboxytherapy doesn’t hurt; it just feels a little “weird.” Because of differences in the techniques used to treat the eyelids, stretch marks, scars, and fat deposits, the sensation is slightly different depending upon what area is being treated. The lower eyelids will feel puffy, but that will subside once the gas is absorbed over five to ten minutes. The treatment of stretch marks and scars is relatively painless. Some pressure and itchy sensation from the gas may be felt as the stretch marks are distended, which subsides in 5-10 minutes. Scars generally feel no pain because there are no nerves in scar tissue. The treatment of cellulite and fatty deposits on the arms, abdomen, and legs has a unique sensation of its own. This is because a larger amount of the gas is injected directly into the offending fat deposits and allowed to expand. The areas will feel warm and tingly for up to 24 hours after the treatment as the circulation to the area is improved.



How many treatments will I need?


This depends upon the severity of the problem being treated. Usually, six to twelve treatments spaced one week apart yields an excellent result. Maintenance treatments are required for continued results as often as every one to six months.



Are there any side effects associated with carboxytherapy?


The only real possible side effect of carboxytherapy is the potential for a bruise at the injection site. Usually, the eyelids can be treated without leaving any marks, making it a truly “no-downtime” procedure. Bruising is very common when treating the arms and legs, so carboxy therapy might not be a good idea if you plan on wearing a bikini the following week.



Are there any risks associated with carboxytherapy?


Carbon dioxide injection has been safely used for years and no permanent adverse effects have been recorded. Most common side effects include pinpoint bleeding at the injection site, discomfort during treatment, redness, bloating, crepitance, warmth, and temporary swelling. Other potential risks include bruising, infection and hyperpigmentation.

How long does a typical treatment session last?


The average carboxytherapy treatment takes approximately fifteen to thirty minutes.