Definition of mesotherapy

Mesotherapy is a technique that consists mainly in eliminating the stagnation of liquids in the cutaneous and subcutaneous tissues (water retention); it is therefore a very requested therapy to resolve cellulite blemishes.

Mesotherapy has the primary objective of detoxifying the body from excess waste, eliminating liquids and simultaneously toning and elasticizing the skin.

The therapy must be carried out by the doctor after having subjected the patient to an accurate diagnosis. In relation to the diagnosis thus formulated, the specialist must establish the most suitable curative technique for the patient: in the case where the mesotherapy represents the preferential treatment, it is a medical duty to opt for a correct choice of medicines, following the subject's informed consent.

Origin of the name

Mesotherapy derives from mesoderm, a term that represents the middle-deep layer of the dermis. Mesotherapy is defined as such because the injected substances can penetrate up to the mesoderm.

Medication administration

Mesotherapy consists of the intradermal injection of drugs, the same that, for the same clinical implications, would be administered to the patient systemically or by os. Injection should be performed using very fine needles, specially selected for mesotherapy: the 6 mm long needles allow small quantities of pharmacological solution to be injected into the intradermal area.

Intradermal administration appears much more advantageous than systemic administration; in fact, while the latter requires the achievement of a minimum plasma concentration that guarantees the therapeutic effect, through mesotherapy the injection allows not only to reach the districts with a lower dose, but also to reduce waiting times to make so that the drug carries out its activity. Mesotherapy, therefore, does not require high drug concentrations, and its almost immediate action is prolonged for a few hours. The question arises, therefore, why mesotherapy is not used as a preferential method for drug administration. The answer is simple: mesotherapy cannot be applied for any pathological form and cannot replace the systemic route, because it is practicable only in those pathologies that respond positively to intradermal (superficial) treatment.


Mesotherapy can be used as a definitive therapy for the following disorders:

  • Cellulite (edematous-fibrosclerotic panniculopathy)
  • District adiposity
  • Venous and lymphatic insufficiency
  • Micro sports traumas
  • Motor rehabilitation
  • Osteopathies and arthropathies
  • Dermatological diseases
  • Facial rejuvenation

For disorders affecting internal organs, mesotherapy is not effective.

Mesotherapy treatment

The patient is treated with drugs diluted in physiological solution and injected into the intradermal area by single injectors (a single needle), or by multi-injectors containing up to 18 needles. Obviously, before performing the injection, the doctor must ensure that the patient is not allergic to the drug used, to avoid unpleasant adverse events.

Generally, with a single mesotherapeutic session no significant improvements can be noted; usually, to obtain satisfactory results, the patient must undergo a minimum of 8-10 sessions of mesotherapy.

Mesotherapy can be supported by complementary therapies such as lymphatic drainage, bandages, hydromassages, liposuction, thermal muds and lasers. The specialist can also advise the patient to take some plant extracts or drugs that can help the mesotherapy: for example, if the problem is cellulite, the subject can take substances that stimulate the microcirculation and act at the level of the vessels, increasing the resistance (eg centella asiatica, rusco, horse-chestnut)

Drugs used

The drugs most used in mesotherapy treatment, as mentioned, are the same ones that would be administered systemically: substances with analgesic action, anti-inflammatory, anti-edema (reduce swelling), revitalizing for skin rejuvenation (anti-age), protective capillaries and lipolytics.

Mesotherapy does not involve pain, therefore patients are not anesthetized by oral or intravenous route; however, a small amount of anesthetic solution is added to the injected drugs to avoid any possible pain.

Side effects

After the mesotherapy treatment, the skin could present wheals following the rupture of the vessel (caused by the needles), which disappear after a few hours. The needles used, although extremely thin, could cause ecchymoses; in this regard, it is preferable to use a single needle for mesotherapy.

The injected drug tends to remain in the treated area for up to 12 hours, since its absorption, at a dermal level, appears relatively slow. However, it is unlikely that the drug spreads to nearby areas, as it tends to remain in the circumscribed area. Precisely for this reason the side effects that derive from the mesotherapy are very reduced and are far surpassed by the therapeutic ones.

Alternative to mesotherapy

Microtherapy is a recent technique that is used as an alternative to mesotherapy. The basic principles are the same, but the risk of rupture of the small blood vessels is very small: in fact, while for mesotherapy 5 or 6 mm long needles are used, in microtherapy, the needle hardly exceeds a millimeter. The substances, therefore, do not reach the mesoderm, but stop at the surface, barely exceeding the thickness of the epidermis.

However, microtherapy uses substances rich in mineral salts (hypertonic solutions), not drugs. To counteract the unsightly effects of cellulite, the substance injected in situ causes a recall of liquids ranging from hypodermic lipid tissue to dermis (osmosis). This phenomenon can be enhanced if, to the solution, catalyst enzymes are added which favor the lysis of the fat particles (lipolysis).

The microtherapy differs from the mesotherapy due to the absence of anesthetic: considering that the needle only penetrates the skin for a millimeter, it is not necessary to add anesthetic substances to the injectable solution since, not touching capillaries and nerve termination, microtherapy does not cause discomfort nor pain, as it happens in mesotherapy.

Mesotherapy: side effects and contraindications ยป