Summary: The world of cosmetic surgery is no stranger to the new and innovative. Sometimes, it’s easy to admit, surgeons might get a little trendy-happy (so too do patients). The latest trend, an injection called Carboxy, is one that is worth explaining, especially given that it seems to be increasingly popular these days. Is it a new trend or is it here to stay?

The New Player: What is Carboxy?

The world of plastic and cosmetic surgery is always in the midst of a new trend. This latest trend, however, is a little odd even by our standards (though it does make a certain amount of sense). Many of our readers have been wondering, what is Carboxy? Well, this new procedure is an injection of carbon dioxide (yup, the stuff you exhale when breathing) into the skin under the eyes.

In theory, Carboxy is designed to eliminate the formation of dark circles under the eyes. The notion is that one of the reasons that these dark circles form is due to the pooling of blood under the eyes. This blood is usually quite oxygen deprived—it’s blue, making the circles appear dark. The carbon dioxide, essentially, tricks your body into diverting oxygen to the area, brightening the color of the blood and, therefore, increasing the vibrancy of the skin.

There are certainly some merits to this procedure. In many ways, it’s not terribly different from other injectables; it’s relatively safe, and the only major side effects are bruising and swelling. But as with any new procedure, it’s worth looking at the benefits and drawbacks of Carboxy in order to determine, does Carboxy really work?

How Does Carboxy Work?

It’s important to note that Carboxy works in a completely different way than most other injectables. Juvederm and Radiesse injections, for example, operate by filling the space—they add volume to make the skin look more youthful. Botox, on the other hand, is a neuromodulator—it’s used to paralyze very small muscle groups in order to get them to relax and release the wrinkle in your skin. Carboxy works on a completely different principle.

Essentially, as described above, a Carboxy injection will introduce a significant amount of carbon dioxide into the area around your lower eyelid. Dark circles are often caused by a pooling of blood in that area—but the blood is typically de-oxygenated. De-oxygenated blood typically appears to be more bluish in color (at least as viewed through the skin). By introducing an infusion of carbon dioxide into the area, the injection “tricks” your body into thinking that it needs a bit more oxygen there to balance it out.

The result is an infusion of oxygenated blood. The more oxygen there is in the blood, the more vibrant, pink, and skin-tone it looks. As a result, the circles under the eyes tend to fade.

How Does Carboxy Compare to Other Procedures?

Carboxy does tend to generate good results, at least in the short term. The problem is that your body will only divert that extra oxygen for so long. This means that the beneficial effects of the Carboxy injection tend to be, well, fleeting. For that reason, most cosmetic surgeons are still somewhat cautious when it comes to Carboxy. According to the website of the Virginia eyelid surgery experts at the Sanctuary Cosmetic Center, there are plenty of non surgical options when it comes to making your eyes look more youthful:

  • Dermal Fillers: In most cases, when cosmetic surgeons want to address dark circles under the eyes, they will often use an injection of dermal fillers. These fillers increase the volume of the skin beneath the eyes—making them look more vibrant and radiant (in other words, making them look a bit younger).
  • Laser Eyelid Treatments: There are, in fact, a wide variety of laser eyelid treatments that are designed to help make the eyes appear a little bit younger. These treatments can address skin tightness or dark circles, depending on the desired final results of the patient. In some cases, each type of procedure would require a different laser system to get the results you want.
  • Eyelid Surgery: The cause of the dark circles under your eye may go deeper than the oxygenation of your blood. You may have excess eyelid tissue that is interfering with your ability to see or your ability to look young. If this is the case, then eyelid surgery (known as blepharoplasty) is the best option to help you look younger.

The best way to explore all these options—and more—is to go in to your consultation with an open mind (not necessarily set on any one procedure).

The Trends Keep Coming

Whether Carboxy, as a trend in cosmetic surgery, turns out to be a hit or miss is a judgment best left to time. I could certainly see it being useful to some patients—but I don’t know that it’s ready to usurp the place of more traditional procedures.

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