Cosmetic mesotherapy: between scientific evidence, science fiction, and lucrative business

Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2008 Nov;32(6):842-9. doi: 10.1007/s00266-008-9195-x. Epub 2008 Jul 29.


Mesotherapy, originally conceived in Europe, is a minimally invasive technique that consists of the intra- or subcutaneous injection of variable mixtures of natural plant extracts, homeopathic agents, pharmaceuticals, vitamins, and other bioactive substances in microscopic quantities through dermal multipunctures. Its application in cosmetic medicine and surgery is gaining in popularity and acceptance and is rapidly growing in profile at an alarming rate. Despite their attraction as purported rejuvenating and ''fat-dissolving'' injections, the safety and efficacy of these novel cosmetic treatments remain ambiguous, making mesotherapy vulnerable to criticism by the generally more skeptical medical community. The technique is shrouded in mystery and the controversy surrounding it pertains to its efficacy and potential adverse effects that are subject of much concern. As with any new technology, it is important to assess the benefits, safety, experience, and standardization of mesotherapy. More studies are necessary before it can be advocated as a safe and effective treatment for body contouring and facial rejuvenation. Although the claims made about mesotherapy may be hard to believe at face value, we must be cautious about rejecting new ideas. Just as absence of proof is not proof of absence, lack of scientific validation is not proof that it does not work.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / psychology
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Cosmetic Techniques*
  • Esthetics
  • Fat Emulsions, Intravenous / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Lebanon
  • Lipectomy / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phosphatidylcholines / administration & dosage*
  • Rejuvenation
  • Risk Assessment
  • Skin Aging / drug effects*


  • Fat Emulsions, Intravenous
  • Phosphatidylcholines