Carboxytherapy Overview

Carboxytherapy Side Effects

Though "no pain, no gain" is a common saying when it comes to improving your appearance, exactly how much pain is involved in a health and beauty treatment is usually a determining factor. Compared with plastic surgery, carboxytherapy is said to have minimal side effects. You might feel some discomfort during the procedure, and the amount of discomfort varies depending on the problem being treated [source: Zdinak]. Your practitioner can tell you what to expect. Once you have completed a treatment, you can typically return to your usual activities immediately [source: Cosmetic Medical].

The most common side effect of carboxytherapy is the possibility of bruising at the site of the injection. While treatments to eyelids typically do not cause bruising, redness and swelling are common on arms and legs that have been treated [source: Zdinak].

After a carboxytherapy treatment, you might feel warmth or tingling at the injection site for a short time; this is considered normal [source: Cosmetic Medical]. Treatment of cellulite and fatty deposits may cause a feeling of pressure as the carbon dioxide expands into the deposits. This sensation should subside after a no more than a day [source: Zdinak]. If you experience any unusual side effects after receiving a treatment, you should consult a physician.

If you want to get rid of cellulite, stretch marks or other skin issues but don't want to have surgery or worry about horrible side effects, carboxytherapy might be what you're looking for. To learn more about this treatment, check out the resources below.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Brockow, Thomas, T. Hausner, A. Dillner and K.L. Resch. “Clinical Evidence of Subcutaneous CO2 Insufflations: A Systematic Review.” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 6:391-403, 2000.
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency. “Carbon Dioxide.” (Accessed 7/23/09)
  • Cosmetic Medical Center. “Carboxytherapy.” (Accessed 7/23/09)
  • Ito, Takashi, Joanne Moore and Michael Koss. “Topical Application of CO2 Increases Skin Blood Flow.” Journal of Investigative Dermatology 93:259-262, 1989.
  • McDonald, Claire. “Trick or Treatment? Carboxy Therapy.” The Times. 8/23/08. (Accessed 7/23/09)
  • Panzeri, Daniela. “Forever Young.” Live Out Loud Magazine. 11/6/08. (Accessed 7/23/09)
  • Phillippe, Cadic. “What Is Carboxytherapy?” (Accessed 7/23/09)
  • Zdinak, Lisa. “FAQs About Carboxytherapy.” (Accessed 7/23/09)