Bad effects from mesotherapy

Dermatologists from Morristown, New Jersey report a case of a woman who developed “scalp abscess with subcutaneous fat necrosis and scarring alopecia as a complication of scalp mesotherapy.”

In mesotherapy, medications are injected into the skin and underlying tissue. The objective is to improve musculoskeletal, neurologic, and cosmetic conditions.

One patient’s experience.

  • A 26-year-old woman came to the hospital 10 days after the start of a painful, burning sensation throughout the scalp associated with draining abscesses.
  • Two weeks earlier, she was treated with mesotherapy for postpartum hair loss.
  • Treatment consisted of multiple injections into the scalp containing a mixture of “vitamins.”
  • Pain and burning sensations increased in intensity and was accompanied by redness and swelling throughout her scalp.

From bad to worse.

  • Treatment by the first doctor made things worse, as did further treatment at a local hospital.
  • Eventually, the abscesses were drained and she was treated with antibiotics, which lead to clearing of the condition.

The bottom line?
Mesotherapy for this patient consisted of a mixture of flavonoside, vitamins (B1, B3, B5, B6, B8, and C), procaine, and saline.

It not clear if the bad reaction experienced by this woman was due to the mixture or to contamination of the injection technique.

It doesn’t matter. No pharmaceutical drug of any type is approved by the FDA for use in mesotherapy.

Using drugs and substances for non-approved indications places the patient and practitioner at medical and legal risk.

More on the checkered past of mesotherapy is summarized here.

8/24/08 20:41 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.