To make an area of skin look younger or to reduce levels of fat and cellulite.

The treatment:

These treatments are usually carried out by doctors and nurses. There is currently no clinical evidence of the safety or effectiveness of these treatments.

A doctor or nurse injects a mixture of vitamins, amino acids, and other medications into a selected area, just beneath the surface of the skin. Each treatment takes up to twenty minutes. If you find it uncomfortable, a local anaesthetic cream can be applied before the injections.

The results:

Mesotherapy aims to replace the minerals, vitamins and amino acids that you have less of as skin or flesh ages. Injection means that greater concentrations of substances reach the selected area faster than oral methods. It also aims to help to maintain firmness and texture, reducing lines and wrinkles. The results are not permanent, and many patients have injections every three months.

The risks:

Risks include allergic reactions to the injected mixture and/or any local anaesthetic. Bruising may also occur. There is also debate about the effectiveness and safety of some of the substances used in mesotherapy, and the Royal College of Nursing, the nurses' professional body, advises their members not to inject mesotherapy solutions unless they are fully aware of what the solution contains.

One product, Cellulyse, is used in mesotherapy for the treatment of cellulite and is administered subcutaneously. Cellulyse is a medicinal product and is not licensed in the UK for any purposes, including cosmetic use.

Before you start:

Most people choose to have mesotherapy because they think their skin looks wrinkled or that it will help to reduce fat and cellulite, but there is little clinical evidence about the safety and effectiveness of these treatments. Talk to your doctor or dermatologist to see if there are any alternatives.

Also see:

Fat implant/ fat transfer
Micro-current treatment

Procedure information is copyright Department of Health ( Reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence.