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Carbon Dioxide therapy (Carboxytherapy)

Carbon Dioxide therapy

Application of Carbon dioxide therapy (Carboxytherapy) in the treatment of clinical and cosmetological conditions such as black circle and fatty deposit under eyes, stretch marks, scars, cellulite, acne, psoriasis, diabetic ulcers.

This therapy was born in France, in the thermal waters station of Royat, near Clermont Ferrand. There a group of cardiologist ascribed to the hospital of Clermont Ferrand, began to treat patients with peripheric organic and functional arteriopaties (Atherosclerotic, Buerger's disease, Raynaud's disease, etc). In 1953 the cardiologist M.D. Jean Baptiste Romuef, published a paper about his 20 years of experience in the subcutaneous injection of CO2. Afterwards, the Parisian cardiologist M.D. Jerome Berthier, along with M.D. Luigi Parassoni from Gallarate, started its application on patients with cellulite. Until 1983 only 40200 patients had been treated in Royat. By 1994, 20,000 patients were treated per year. This number of patients, not only confirms the efficacy of the therapeutic method, but also the security of this.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an odorless colorless gas, the first one to be discovered in history (Van Helmont, 1648). Intradermal administration of carbon dioxide improves skin laxity by improving dermal collagen. When administered subcutaneously CO2 immediately diffuses at the cutaneous and muscular microcirculatory level. At the vascular level it increases vascular tone and produces active vasodilatation at the microcirculatory level, increasing microcirculation, tissue metabolism and oxygenation as well as lysis of the fat cells in the subcutaneous tissue.

Lipodystrophy and edematous fibrosclerotic panniculopathy are pathologies in which microcirculatory disorders and resulting interstitial edema constitute triggering factors that also support the pathological process. Microangiopathy due to stasis is the morphological substrate.

Since it improves capillary blood flow and reduces stasis, carboxytherapy contributes to restore the microvasculartissular unit exchanges.

Most of the gas is eliminated through the lungs (expiration), while a smaller portion is converted into carbonic acid at tissue level and then eliminated through the kidneys. Although it is toxic when inhaled (10% in air may cause asphyxia), CO2 trans- or subcutaneous therapeutic administration or intra-abdominal administration aimed at videolaparoscopy have not shown any toxic effects, even at the highest doses (2-3 liters). It differs from other gases because it does not cause nitrogenous embolisms, unlike, for example, the oxygen-ozone therapy.

Carboxytherapy is one of the so called lunch-procedures, as there is no hospitalization or anesthesia required. Patients can resume their daily routine immediately after procedure.

Clinically proven efficacy, simplicity and absence of toxity and complications make Carboxytherapy highly desirable and effective treatment.

Dr Rovshan Izamov MBBS, MSc, PG Dip Derm (London)

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