What is carboxytherapy?
Carboxytherapy is the administration of carbon dioxide [CO2] gas for therapeutic purposes below the skin through a thin needle.
How does carboxytherapy work, in general?
Carbon dioxide is naturally present in our bodies at all times and it is essential to the life processes of both animals and plants. With every breath, we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Plants absorb the carbon dioxide that we exhale and release oxygen back into the atmosphere again.
Dark under-eye circles, cellulite, and scars are believed by some doctors to be caused, at least in part, due to poor blood flow to the region. By injecting a small amount of carbon dioxide gas into the area, we are aiming to “trick” the body into increasing the oxygen flow to the area by compelling the red blood cells to pick up all of the excess CO2 that we injected so that it can be carried back to the lungs for elimination from the body with the next exhalation.
What are some clinical uses for carboxytherapy?
Carboxytherapy may help with dark under-eye circles, stretch-marks, cellulite reduction, and non-surgical fat sculpting on the face and the body.
What areas of the body can be treated with carboxytherapy?
Carboxytherapy may help with problems of the eyelids, face, neck, arms, stomach, buttocks and legs.
What other benefits occur from carboxytherapy?
In addition to increasing oxygenated blood-flow to the region injected, carboxytherapy may also increase collagen formation in the skin, helping to produce a more youthful appearance.
How does carboxytherapy work for dark undereye circles?
One major cause of dark under-eye circles can be vascular pooling. The capillary network of the lower eyelids can become congested for a variety of reasons. Normally, the tears drain from the eyelids into the nose, but if there is some obstruction due to chronic nasal congestion from seasonal allergies, previous nasal fracture, or a deviated septum, the 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.” The lack of appropriate oxygenation to the lower eyelid skin allows the bluish cast to show through the thin skin of the eyelids.
Carboxytherapy aims 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 may be increased and improved capillary networks may be formed for longer lasting circulatory benefit. The bluish cast may be reduced, becoming more like a healthy pink tone. Once a series of treatments is completed, the skin may have a more luminous appearance that can last up to approximately six months.
How does carboxytherapy work for stretch marks?
Stretchmarks (striae distensae) occur when the skin is stretched to the point where the dermal collagen ruptures. Carboxytherapy may cause the formation of new collagen and subsequent thickening of the skin, which may help to improve the appearance of the stretchmarks through rebuilding the collagen matrix.
How is the carboxytherapy treatment administered?
There is a tank of carbon dioxide gas that is connected by plastic tubing to a flow-regulator. The flow-regulator slows down the speed of the gas according to the rate selected by the physician. The gas emerges from the flow-regulator into sterile tubing that has a filter connected at the exit to remove any trace impurities before the gas is run through a tiny needle attached to the opposite side of the filter. The pure gas is now ready to be injected beneath the skin via the tiny needle.
What does carboxytherapy feel like?
Carboxytherapy doesn’t generally hurt; it just feels a little odd. We use a numbing cream to diminish any discomfort associated with the pin-prick of the needle itself.
When treating the eyelids, the lower eyelids may feel puffy, but that will usually subside once the gas is absorbed over the next five to ten minutes.
The treatment of stretch-marks and scars is relatively painless for most patients because this skin doesn’t have the same ability to sense pain. Some pressure from the gas may be felt as the stretch-marks are distended, and they can feel a bit itchy, but again this will usually subside in about five minutes once the gas is absorbed by the body.
Scars generally feel no pain because there are no nerves in scar tissue. The areas may feel warm and tingly for up to twenty-four hours after the treatment, which indicates increased circulation to the area.
How many treatments will I need?
This depends upon the severity of the problem being treated. For many patients, six to twelve treatments spaced one week apart yields an excellent result.
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 carboxytherapy might not be a good idea if you plan on wearing a bikini the following week during vacation.
Are there any risks associated with carboxytherapy?
There are no known risks associated with carboxytherapy. Carbon dioxide injection has been safely used for years to facilitate endoscopic surgeries of the abdomen. Carbon dioxide is also injected directly into the bloodstream by invasive cardiologists for certain diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
How long does a typical treatment session last?
The average carboxytherapy treatment takes approximately fifteen to thirty minutes to complete.
Please call us on 0845 603 6150 to book a consultation.