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Beauty without the knife

Year after year, the beauty industry raises the bar in finding innovative cosmetic procedures to erase the years away. While Botox was an instant success it does have its pitfalls. Paving its way in is a non-surgical marvel that’s believed to wipe away stretch marks and wrinkles, diminish scars and reduce fat – in a nutshell, the new surgery free wonder can make you go from fat to fab in a jiffy. By Sherley

International cosmetologists have potentially proved that the gas we breathe out may be manna for the skin. Carbon dioxide as the chief component of fizzy colas is definitely bad for your health but may be a magic potion if injected directly into you.

Developed in Europe and marketed in the U.S.A as Rioblush, the therapy was initially recognised for scar treatment. Some scars stay forever and some disappear over a period of time. Carboxytherapy helps speed up the scar removal process, a therapy extremely famous in Brazil. The process is FDA approved however, it’s not been clinically tested which is what has raised concerns from some of the researchers and cosmetologists.

Carboxytherapy became an instant success in Britain making women look drop dead gorgeous. While Botox is still around, carboxytherapy is the latest mantra to defy age and melt stubborn fat. Relatively new, this treatment has been considered the closest to being natural and less painful compared to Botox or dermal fillers. However unlike Botox, the pros and cons of this new treatment are still under study. The impact of the therapy on the treated areas has so far shown positive results but the long term effects are still under scrutiny, according to Rajiv Grover, the secretary of British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.

Cost Factor: The therapy boasts of being relatively inexpensive. Each session could cost you between 100 – 150 pounds (7000 to 11,000 rupees) per session.

Services to avail: Carboxytherapy is successfully being used in places like New York, Europe and South America but it is not yet widely available in India. Celebrities and socialites have already raised their brows in curiosity and seem eager to lay their hands on this therapy.

  • The therapy is primarily used for removing under eye dark circles and the session lasts for an average of ten minutes. Depending on the depth of the dark circles you would require 3-7 sessions.
  • This unique therapy is used to treat weight loss – according to several researches, CO2 is injected under the skin using needles which disseminate in the surrounding tissues which in turn dilate the blood vessels resulting in fewer fat cells and firmer looking skin. To keep cellulites away, booster sessions post 6 months are called for. The treatment works well for the face and neck areas too helping in an overall body contouring.
  • The therapy is believed to help bald men. The injected gas reopens the closed pores allowing hair to grow again.
  • There's hope to get rid of those ugly stretch marks. Doctors state that on relatively newer stretch marks the therapy has shown excellent results. Requiring one session per week and going up to three weeks, the therapy showed complete removal of those marks. Older marks demand three to four sessions in a week with sufficient interval between each session, as recommended by the doctor.
Precautions: Since the therapy involves stimulation of the bloodstream due to CO2 injections certain post and pre treatment precautions are advised:
  • The therapy should be performed by reputed doctors or surgeons hence checking the history of the clinic and doctor is advised.
  • Those who've undertaken the treatment should avoid getting inside water for at least four hours.
  • Strenuous activities should be avoided for a reasonable period as advised by doctors.
  • People suffering from epilepsy, hypertension, heart diseases, kidney failure, uncontrolled diabetes, haemophilia, cancer and obstructive lung diseases are prone to contraindications and physicians have not recommended the therapy for people with these symptoms.
A thirty year old therapy that was followed in France to treat patients suffering from poor blood circulation, blocked arteries and heart problems is today believed to be a huge breakthrough since Botox. Dr. Sangeetha who runs an anti ageing and anti obesity clinic, INXS, has been honoured for her studies on carboxytherapy/carboxypentherapy in France. Her clinic in Bangalore is the first in India to practise the treatment on patients with 88% positive results. Most of her clients, suffering from obesity, have reported remarkable results in fat reduction. Dr. Sangeetha stated that carboxytherapy, though unheard of in India, is an FDA approved treatment and has already undergone upgradation. The traditional carboxytherapy can cause slight pain and swelling which of course would disappear in a short span of three to five minutes; the newer method of carboxypentherapy uses a pen fitted with a 13 mm needle which provides controlled use and painless administration over the area of treatment.

On a personal note, Dr. Sangeetha feels that Botox is a tedious process which involves paralyzing the muscles as a result of which a lot of the natural looks diminish; however, carboxytherapy only involves infusion of gas and the results are instant. For a facial wrinkle or double chin reduction, the treatment would call for 2 to 3 sittings or more depending on the amount of fat or wrinkles and would cost Rs 3000/ to Rs 5000/ per sitting. Having successfully treated patients suffering from psoriasis with carboxytherapy, Dr. Sangeetha is happy to use the treatment in her clinic. When checked if patients who’d undergone Botox could transition to carboxytherapy she insisted on a thorough check up prior to recommending the therapy. Patients who’d undergone severe Botox treatments required even haemoglobin check, according to her. In a nutshell, she states that carboxytherapy along with laser or mesotherapy could be used on Botox treated patients depending on the longevity of their exposure to Botox. Dr. Sangeetha clarifies that carboxytherapy helps in improving blood circulation and helps in keeping the skin naturally healthy hence the result is almost instant and good.

Carboxytherapy treatments are surprisingly successful which is why it has caused a stir and become increasingly popular. However, some leading cosmetologists still have reservations about the therapy and its effects. Leading cosmetic surgeon Alex Karidis in his interview with mail online stated, “While it seems there is no risk, this therapy is far from the mainstream. It remains to be seen if it works at all. Without several more larger scale studies in reputable journals and strong evidence of its effectiveness, anyone having the treatment is a guinea pig. So is Rio-blush carboxytherapy a miracle cure or just cosmetic hype? We put it to the test....”

While the jury is still out on the plusses and minuses of this latest product to emerge from the cosmeceutical stables, women (and men) continue to jab themselves to instant beauty.
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