Outbreak of mesotherapy-associated skin reactions--District of Columbia area, January-February 2005.
Mesotherapy is a treatment involving local subcutaneous injections of minute quantities of various substances (e.g., vitamins or plant extracts) for cosmetic purposes (e.g., fat and wrinkle reduction or body contouring) or relief of musculoskeletal pain. In February 2005, the Virginia Department of Health and CDC were notified of a cluster of skin reactions unresponsive to antimicrobial therapy among patients who had been administered mesotherapy by an unlicensed practitioner in the District of Columbia (DC) area. This report 1) summarizes the subsequent investigation by CDC and state and local health departments in Virginia, Maryland, and DC, which identified prolonged skin reactions in 14 patients, and 2) provides recommendations for practices related to mesotherapy. Patients should accept medical therapy only from licensed practitioners and should not permit injection of substances that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Licensed practitioners should follow safe-injection practices when practicing mesotherapy and patients should observe that safe-injection practices are followed.
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