Mesotherapy is a technique of applying a liquid mixture through multiple shallow, targeted microinjections into the skin of the area being treated. The mixture often contains a calibrated amount of vitamins, enzymes, plant extracts, minerals, hyaluronic acid, or pharmaceutical medications. The composition of ingredients for the mesotherapy will depend on the condition being treated. We focus on the use of mesotherapy for cosmetic and aesthetic treatments.
The content has been reviewed for quality and accuracy to the best of our knowledge by Qunomedical and its Medical Board of Experts.
Mesotherapy is a technique that uses a series of very fine needled microinjections into the epidermis and dermal layers of the skin to deliver mini doses of various mixtures and compounds.
It is believed this technique for delivering medicinal solutions has been used in some form for several thousand years but Dr. Michel Pistor is credited for bringing it into the mainstream between 1953-1958 in France. The term ‘mesotherapy’ was coined around this time and mesotherapy was first used for pain, asthma, and hearing issues.
Mesotherapy is not really a treatment on its own but a way to deliver the medicines and herbal compounds that can treat multiple types of conditions. The mesotherapy technique has been used to treat pain, inflammation, and soreness.
In more recent times, it has been used for cosmetic conditions such as cellulite, wrinkles, and body shaping. The mixtures that can be injected range from plant extracts, vitamins, and minerals to pharmaceutical medications.
The main idea behind mesotherapy is to deliver the medication or mixture closer to the exact area where the condition occurs (also known as the area of pathology) rather than making it circulate through the whole body first, possibly allowing it to be more effective.
The effectiveness of mesotherapy has been hard to determine since the combination of solutions can vary by condition and by practitioner. Also, there are different techniques for administering mesotherapy.
So far, very few high-level studies have been done to test mesotherapy and fewer have been conducted testing mesotherapy’s effectiveness for cosmetic purposes, despite its continued popularity. Below, you will find its most popular uses for cosmetic and aesthetic purposes.
Mesotherapy for facial skin rejuvenation has been promoted as a nonsurgical way to boost the skin’s elasticity, its moisturizing capacity and collagen production. Mesotherapy may improve the skin’s appearance by creating a fresh and natural glow.
When used for cellulitis or fat deposits, mesotherapy has claimed to help tighten skin and improve its structure. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, “mesotherapy” and “injection lipolysis” are technically different although the terms are sometimes used interchangeably.
Mesotherapy compounds are used to treat a wide range of ailments and conditions, including localized fat deposits, but the ingredients of the compounds can vary greatly.
Injection lipolysis refers specifically to injecting formulations of phosphatidylcholine (PC) and/or deoxycholic acid (DCA) to break up subcutaneous fat deposits. KybellaTM, with DCA as its active ingredient, is currently the only FDA-approved solution for injection lipolysis.
Mesotherapy has also been used to help treat hair loss by claiming it can help improve blood circulation, deliver nutrients closer to the hair follicle, and also correct hormonal imbalances around it. Homeopathic solutions and plant extracts are often used in mesotherapy for hair loss.
The two medications that have been FDA-approved for hair loss, minoxidil and finasteride, can also be delivered through the mesotherapy technique rather than taken orally or topically as they usually are.
You’ll meet with your specialist beforehand to discuss your medical history and a treatment plan for receiving the mesotherapy. Before the full treatment, your specialist may give you one or two injections of the ingredients to be used to make sure you won’t have an allergic reaction.
The areas to be treated will be cleaned and prepared by removing dead skin cells so the mixture can penetrate the skin easier. The skin may be “mapped out” to show where the injections need to be delivered. You may also have a topical numbing agent applied to your skin to reduce or eliminate any pain.
Depending on your practitioner, the mesotherapy solution will be administered using either individual needles or with a special device called a “meso-gun.” The meso-gun allows the skin to be penetrated with several small needles at once and also allows the dosage and depth of the needle to be controlled electronically.
Your practitioner will determine the angle the needles need to be administered and the depth of the skin they need to penetrate based on the condition being treated.
There are also newer mesotherapy techniques that use a weak electric current to inject the mixtures instead of needles.
Mesotherapy can also be administered in combination with facial peels, dermal fillers or Botox.
You may feel some slight stinging, burning, or discomfort during the mesotherapy but you should be able to leave immediately after the treatment and continue your normal activities. If you experience any pain or swelling, then you may need to rest for about a day.
Mesotherapy typically needs to be done several times to see the desired results. This is important to consider if you choose to travel abroad for mesotherapy. Your practitioner will recommend a specific schedule based on the condition you want to treat and the mixtures being used.
However, you will generally need to go every 7 to 10 days for a couple of months. If your skin is showing improvement, then your appointments may be spread out to once every 2 weeks or once a month. It may be recommended to then have maintenance appointments 2 times per year once you reach your desired results.
Keep in mind that activities such as smoking or excessive sunbathing will also affect your results.