What Is Carboxytherapy & How Does It Work?

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Carboxytherapy is the injection of carbon dioxide gas underneath the skin. This treatment is used to reduce cellulite, stretch marks, and dark circles under the eyes. It can also be used as part of treatment for wound healing. Carbon dioxide brings additional oxygen into the area and dilates the blood vessels where it is injected to improve the overall appearance of your skin.

This article discusses the benefits, side effects, and results that can be achieved from carboxytherapy. You'll also learn what to expect during a treatment session.

man receiving carboxytherapy

JackF / Getty Images

What Are the Benefits of Carboxytherapy?

One benefit of carboxytherapy is a decrease in cellulite, or fat underneath the skin that gives it a lumpy appearance. This treatment can also be used to help sculpt the body by removing excess fat in specific areas. Injecting carbon dioxide into these areas decreases the number of fat cells and causes the skin to tighten. Carboxytherapy is often used along with liposuction for body contouring (removing excess skin and fat from the body).

Carboxytherapy can also reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Injection of carbon dioxide stimulates cells called fibroblasts that make collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. These substances decrease the size of your stretch marks and can help them fade, so they match your skin tone more closely.

Carboxytherapy can treat dark circles under the eyes, which often occur when blood pools under the lower eyelid. Gas injection improves blood circulation by stimulating the growth of new blood vessels and dilating (expanding) existing blood vessels.

Carboxytherapy is also used with other treatments to help heal chronic wounds that can develop with conditions such as diabetes and peripheral artery disease. It can also be used to help treat alopecia (an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss).

What Are the Side Effects of Carboxytherapy?

Carboxytherapy is a painless treatment with minimal or no side effects. You might feel "pressure" as the gas is injected under your skin. In some cases, bruising can occur in the area of your injections, but this usually lasts less than a week.

After a carboxytherapy session, your skin might feel warm, itchy, and/or tingly as blood circulation increases and the gas begins to work. This can last for up to 24 hours after treatment. The injected area might also be puffy (particularly under the eyes), but this will improve within a few days as your body absorbs the gas.

What to Expect During a Session

Typically, there's no special preparation required before a carboxytherapy session. During treatment, your healthcare provider will insert a tiny needle underneath your skin and inject a small amount of gas that comes out of a machine called a flow regulator.

Treatment time ranges depending on the area being treated. Sessions typically range from 15 to 45 minutes and are performed once or twice weekly.

Contraindications for Carboxytherapy

Carboxytherapy isn't safe for everyone. Avoid this treatment if you have any of the following:

  • Currently pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Blood clotting disorders
  • Severe heart disease
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure (untreated)
  • Active infection
  • Fever
  • Gangrene
  • Kidney failure

What Results Can I Expect From Carboxytherapy?

Results from carboxytherapy treatments aren't immediate and they won't last forever. Depending on the area of the body being treated, it can take between six to eight treatment sessions for you to notice a difference in the shape of your body. For conditions like alopecia or wound healing, it can take 15 to 30 sessions to show positive changes.

Carboxytherapy treatments must be repeated every three to six months to maintain your results.


Carboxytherapy is a treatment that involves injecting a small amount of carbon dioxide gas underneath the skin. It can be used to treat stretch marks, dark circles under the eyes, cellulite, and excess fat in specific areas of the body.

Carboxytherapy is a relatively safe procedure with minimal side effects. However, multiple treatments are needed for significant results. Improvements are temporary, and treatment needs to be repeated every three to six months to maintain results.

A Word From Verywell

Carboxytherapy is a relatively pain-free way to improve the appearance of your skin and reduce unwanted stretch marks and other cosmetic changes. While it isn't very time-consuming, this treatment can put a dent in your wallet—particularly since it can take several weeks of treatment, once or twice a week, to see results. Consult a skin care professional to see if you are a good candidate for carboxytherapy.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long does it take to see the results of carboxytherapy?

    Multiple treatments are needed to see results from carboxytherapy, which can take several weeks (or more).

  • Does carboxytherapy get rid of fat?

    Yes, carboxytherapy can destroy fat cells.

  • How much does carboxytherapy cost?

    The cost of carboxytherapy treatments varies by location and the area being treated. In general, sessions can range from $100 to several hundred dollars.

5 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Lee GSK. Quality survey on efficacy of carboxytherapy for localized lipolysisJournal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 2016;15(4):484-492. doi:10.1111/jocd.12242

  2. Lokhande AJ, Mysore V. Striae distensae treatment review and updateIndian Dermatol Online J. 2019;10(4):380-395. doi:10.4103%2Fidoj.IDOJ_336_18

  3. Sarkar R, Ranjan R, Garg S, Garg VK, Sonthalia S, Bansal S. Periorbital hyperpigmentation: a comprehensive reviewJ Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2016;9(1):49-55.

  4. Macura M, Ban Frangez H, Cankar K, Finžgar M, Frangez I. The effect of transcutaneous application of gaseous CO2 on diabetic chronic wound healing—a double‐blind randomized clinical trialInt Wound J. 2020;17(6):1607-1614. doi:10.1111%2Fiwj.13436

  5. Zelenková H. Carboxytherapy - a non-invasive method in aesthetic medicine and dermatology, and the combined usage of carboxytherapy and PRP in the periorbital area. Glob Dermatol. 2019;3(5):42-48. doi:10.15761/GOD.1000202

By Aubrey Bailey, PT, DPT, CHT
Aubrey Bailey is a physical therapist and professor of anatomy and physiology with over a decade of experience providing in-person and online education for medical personnel and the general public, specializing in the areas of orthopedic injury, neurologic diseases, developmental disorders, and healthy living.