The Side Effects of Mesotherapy

Mesotherapy treatment is a cosmetic procedure that is commonly used in Latin America and has seen increased used in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health. Mesotherapy is administered through several injections that contain a mixture of medicines, minerals and vitamins. Its promoted cosmetic applications include the elimination of excess fat and cellulite. Some frequently treated areas include the upper arms, thighs, abdomen and buttocks. Mesotherapy also aims to restore the face and neck to a more youthful appearance. Side effects linked to mesotherapy are generally regarded as having a minimal effect.

A doctor injects a woman's face. (Image: nikolasvn/iStock/Getty Images)

Pain & Burning

The injections used in mesotherapy can cause some irritation to the skin. A topical anesthetic can be applied before the treatment to ensure minimal discomfort. There might be a mild burning sensation following the injection as therapeutic properties enter the body. This feeling is typically fleeting. Any residual soreness usually disappears within a day or two.

Bruising & Swelling

According to, the side effects of mesotherapy are generally mild. The most frequent reaction is bruising or swelling at the injection sites. Tiny bumps can also form. These irritations usually clear within two weeks. To accelerate the rate of healing, a homeopathic supplement called arnica (used especially to treat bruises) can be applied topically or taken orally. Some patients experience a minor itch that lasts anywhere from a few hours to a few days after completion of the treatment.

Miscellaneous Side Effects

Other side effects linked to mesotherapy include temporary areas of numbness and skin discoloration. Some patients become nauseous or develop hematoma (localized swelling filled with blood). Some patients have scarring at the site of the injection. In the unlikely event that the injection device was not thoroughly sterilized, a potentially serious infection can result.

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