In the recent years, many new skin-related treatments have sprung up, some of which have met with instance success, while few have been looked at with skepticism. Mesotherapy is one such treatment. Mesotherapy has been found beneficial enough to find its way into clinical practice.
Though there are not many studies investigating the technique many dermatologists are using it for various skin conditions and are finding it effective without significant side effects, provided it is done by a well-trained expert. But there is need for more research and well-designed controlled scientific studies to substantiate the claims of benefit of this mode of therapy. So if you are considering mesotherapy, familiarise yourself with the basics and make an informed decision.
What is mesotherapy?
In mesotherapy, [also known as intradermotherapy] injections containing a mixture of compounds are given directly at the site to be treated. The compounds are a mixture of pharmaceutical, homoeopathic medications, plant extracts, vitamins, hormones and other ingredients. Since the compounds are introduced into the skin with tiny injections and not open cuts, mesotherapy is classified as a minimally invasive therapy.
It is used to treat a vast number of medical and cosmetic conditions.
What are its applications?
The technique was originally invented for pain relief. However, its cosmetic applications including fat and cellulite removal, facial rejuvenation and treatment of hair loss have received attention. It has been found beneficial in several dermatological and medical conditions.
Dermatological conditions: Cellulite, local fat deposits and body sculpting, acne, baldness, weight loss, expanded blood vessels, facial rejuvenation, skin tightening, stretch marks and pigmentation.
Medical conditions: Arthritis, asthma, lower backache, headache, sport injuries, gout, varicose veins, carpal tunnel syndrome, muscle pain, herpes, ringing sound in the ears and vertigo.
However, mesotherapy is more commonly used for skin and hair rejuvenation than for treating medical conditions.
How effective is mesotherapy for skin rejuvenation and hair loss?
Mesotherapy using multi vitamin injections as an anti-aging skin treatment has been used by many medical and non-medical practitioners, despite the existence of only anecdotal reports of its effectiveness. Also, many patients have experienced temporary redness, pinpoint bleeding, and pain despite topical anaesthesia.
Regarding its use in hair loss, currently there is no data on its safety and efficacy that has been adequately and critically evaluated and documented in proper, peer-reviewed clinical trials. However, if done by a trained person, who can judge the type of hair loss, its severity and with other additional treatments as needed then mesotherapy is one of the promising upcoming treatment for hair loss and its use for the same needs to be explored further with better scientific studies. Further, mesotherapy is not entirely a safe technique as publicised in lay media and can give rise to complications if not done by a properly trained and qualified person with proper aseptic precautions.
How long does the procedure take?
On an average a procedure takes 30 – 45 minutes. It depends on the age of the person and the damage to the skin or hair. After treatment, hot water bath should be avoided for 12 hours and no make-up should be used on the area of injections for about eight hours.
What are the side effects of mesotherapy?
This is minimally invasive procedure and found to be safe. However, some patients may experience minimal bruising and swelling, infections, inflammation, fat redistribution, formation of bumps, facial and scalp ulcers and scarring, allergic reactions due to various chemicals/drugs, pigmentation and increased hair loss.
There is a risk of transmission of blood-borne infections such as hepatitis if proper precautions are not taken. Also if you are on medication for insulin dependant diabetes, cancer, heart diseases, stroke, organ transplant or you are pregnant please take extra precautions.
How long do the results last?
Although the results of a mesotherapy procedure are encouraging for most people, periodic repetition is required to maintain the outcome—usually after every 6 – 8 months. Also, the results vary from person to person and depend on the area worked on. A trained physician is able to give an idea about that depending on one’s response.
This was first published in the August 2012 issue of Complete Wellbeing
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