Mesotherapy is a procedure that has been used since the 1950s and involves injecting different mixtures of pharmaceuticals, vitamins and other extracts into a particular layer of the skin between the superficial dermis and the deeper fat layer fat called the mesoderm. When placed in this layer, the substances are not absorbed into the body but work only in the area they are injected.

Mesotherapy has been used in sports medicine and to treat other medical conditions. In the cosmetic field, mesotherapy has been found very effective in treating cellulite and resistant fat pockets which have persisted despite diet and exercise. The particular mixtures used have the main effects of breaking down the fat cells beneath the skin, help remove the broken down fat into the body’s clearing system (lymphatics) and stimulate collagen production, so firming and toning the skin.

Mesotherapy can treat fat deposits and cellulite in the tummy area, the flanks(‘love handles’), bra bulge, inner thighs and knees, buttocks, upper arms, and the chin.

The procedure offers an alternative to those who are not too keen on surgery. Mesotherapy is also performed with an injectable form of Hyaluronic Acid specially formulated for skin hydration in the hand and chest areas. Hyaluronic Acid is naturally found in the connective tissue of our skin and replenishing it keeps the skin looking more elastic and younger (please see section on ‘fillers’).

Although needles are used, these are very fine and painless. Moreover, the mixtures injected contain an anaesthetic and this makes the injection practically painless. Ice is used on the area before and during the procedure to help minimize bruising and swelling. The procedure lasts around 20 to 30 minutes.

For best results around four to six sessions are usually planned; these are done at intervals of one to two weeks. Massage treatment is recommended between sessions to help clear the broken down fat more quickly. Usually, visible improvement is noted after two or three sessions, but may take longer. The great thing about this treatment is that improvement continues even after the program is finished since the skin continues to repair and rejuvenate itself.

There may some redness, swelling and tenderness, and possibly some bruising within the first 24-48 hours; these usually settle down in a few days. Provided you can tolerate some stiffness, you can return to light work immediately after the procedure.

A tight garment such as a corset may be recommended after the procedure to help minimize discomfort. An anti- bruising cream like arnica may be prescribed. Avoid strenuous exercise for a few days after the procedure. Drink lots of water, to help eliminate toxins. And stick to a healthy diet and exercise regimen!

It is strongly advised to lose any excess weight before attempting mesotherapy, which will target specific problem areas only. Pregnant females should avoid the treatment, as should those on blood-thinning medications ( such as aspirin and warfarin) and those with heart disease.