Carboxytherapy in dermatology: A systematic review

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2022 May;21(5):1874-1894. doi: 10.1111/jocd.14834. Epub 2022 Feb 14.


Introduction: The overall effects of Carboxytherapy, defined as the administration of carbon dioxide, have been studied for many years. It has been suggested that by improving oxygenation, interacting with the tissue perfusion regulators, and disrupting the adipose cell membranes, the method can lead to notable improvements in different esthetic and pathological conditions. Therefore, we aimed to systematically review the available studies evaluating the potential benefits of carboxytherapy in dermatological conditions and how it objectively stands against scientific scrutiny.

Methods: We searched the PubMed, Scopus, Embase, and Web of Science databases, including the studies exploring the method's efficacy in managing any dermatological condition.

Results: A total 27 of studies were identified (with a pooled sample of over 700 cases), most of which were clinical trials. Facial wrinkles, periorbital hyperpigmentation, skin laxity deficiency, scars, striae distensae, localized lipolysis and cellulite, alopecia, chronic diabetic wounds, and psoriatic plaques comprised the package of the dermatological conditions that were studied. Except for a few studies, the method mainly demonstrated significant improvements on all of the mentioned conditions. The inter- and post-operational adverse events were mild and transient, including erythema, pain, crepitus, and ecchymoses.

Discussion: Carboxytherapy can provide those practicing in the field with sustainably favorable results. However, the numbers of cases on whom the fat-reducing capabilities of the method were studied and experienced varying degrees of recurrence caught our eye. In addition, we observed a notable disparity between the outcome measures utilized in the studies. The modest sample size in each condition also added to the injury, as the conditions on which the method was evaluated are pretty common in the general population. Therefore, for a definite conclusion, more randomized controlled trials with the shortcomings mentioned well addressed need to be conducted.

Keywords: carbon dioxide therapy; carboxytherapy; dermatology.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cellulite* / drug therapy
  • Dermatology*
  • Erythema
  • Humans
  • Skin Aging*
  • Striae Distensae* / drug therapy