Everything You Need to Know About Mesotherapy for Anti-Aging

Does it work? Experts weigh in.

<p>Andriy Onufriyenko/Getty Images</p>

Andriy Onufriyenko/Getty Images

It’s amazing how many cosmetic treatments are out there that you might not even know about. Mesotherapy, a treatment founded in France, is one of those such treatments that’s been around since the early 1920s, but isn’t as well-known in the United States.

If you, too, are interested in learning more about this treatment and considering getting it yourself, read on to find out the benefits of mesotherapy, how long it lasts, how much it typically costs, the side effects, and so much more.

What Is Mesotherapy?

In its simplest form, mesotherapy is the injection of anything into the skin. Mesotherapy, also known as “bio-revitalization,” is a strategic technique with different outcomes, depending on the ingredients used. “It’s basically a transdermal injection of different compounds such as multivitamins, peptides, natural plant extracts, or even adipocyte (fat cell) reduction,” explains Pietro Simone, celebrity esthetician and founder of Pietro Simone Skincare. “The bio-revitalization infuses ingredients into your skin that aren’t necessarily fillers or Botox, which triggers the revitalization of the skin tissues.”

Benefits of Mesotherapy

According to Simone, the benefits of mesotherapy are related to the type of ingredients used, from deep hydration to stimulation of the fibroblast, from brightening to support the renewal process, and from fighting cellulite and stretchmarks.

David Goldberg, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC is not as convinced about mesotherapy’s efficacy. “We did a study over 10 years ago, which was published in the Journal Dermatologic Surgery, that showed with both clinical evaluations and biopsies of the skin there was no improvement when just vitamins and minerals are injected in the skin,” explains Dr. Goldberg. Although this technique remains popular in France, it is now rarely used in the US.

What is now common in the US, however, is mesotherapy with hyaluronic acid—a simpler form of what is used as fillers. “These injections lead to a glow to the skin because they are a fabulous moisturizer,” says Dr. Goldberg. “Lastly, Botox and similar substances are injected in microdoses (mesoBotox) for fine lines, oily skin, pore size, and flushing.”

How Long Does Mesotherapy Last?

This will really vary from individual, lifestyle, and skin condition at the starting point of the treatment. “Generally speaking, when I was preparing the client’s skin pre-doctor mesotherapy session, the client would have been instructed on a course of treatments,” explains Simone. In general, hyaluronic mesotherapy should be done once a month, while mesoBotox is done every three months, according to Dr. Goldberg.

How Much Does Mesotherapy Cost?

Of course, this will depend on your location and where you get the mesotherapy treatment(s). According to Dr. Goldberg, a hyaluronic acid mesotherapy treatment can cost about $300-500 per treatment, and a mesoBotox treatment is about $1000-$1500 per session.

Side Effects of Mesotherapy

According to Jimmy C. Sung, MD, a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon and Medical Director of Tribeca Aesthetics, most substances used in mesotherapy are produced by compounders, thus lacking uniform standards and quality control. “Other times, drugs are being injected off-label, and there are no clinical studies on the efficacy and safety [of mesotherapy],” he explains. “Infection, irregularities, and lumpiness of the injected skin [can occur].”

Generally speaking, it should be a safe and smooth treatment, according to Simone. However, it’s super important to know what are the ingredients used in mesotherapy. “Swelling sometimes can be quite common, and bruising and some redness can occur, too—those are the main points I observed pre and post-treatment,” says Simone.

What to Expect During a Mesotherapy Treatment

Your treatment will really depend on the doctor. “I always did the skin preparation, and then had the doctor do the injection part,” explains Simone. “Then, I would have followed with a calming massage, LED therapy, and all related products.”

The main part of mesotherapy is the multiple microinjections that normally cover the entire face, neck, and eventually the decollete. “If you’re afraid of needles, I don’t think this is the best treatment because mesotherapy requires a lot of microinjections,” says Simone.

Difference Between Mesotherapy and Liposuction

Fat-dissolving mesotherapy usually uses chemicals like phospholipids to break down the fat cells. “It is kind of like pouring Drano to degrease the kitchen drain,” explains Dr. Sung. “The effect is hard to predict and control. Liposuction, on the other hand, is removing fat surgically, and is more precise and predictable.”

Fat-dissolving mesotherapy and liposuction aim for the same results, but have very different actions and timing. Normally, with mesotherapy, the client has a certain number of appointments in order to achieve the desired result, according to Simone. It’s the opposite with liposuction, where in one visit (generally speaking), you should achieve the discussed results.

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