Cellulite is one of the most common, and most complained-about, aesthetic conditions that women try to reverse or reduce. In general, cellulite is a skin condition that impacts around 98% of women and it is caused by fibrous bands that connect muscles to the skin. When fat deposits push against the skin, it can result in a bulging or rippling effect because those fibrous bands are pulling the stomach down in the dimpled areas. Cellulite primarily appears in the buttocks, thighs or stomach. In addition, cellulite is not a condition that has anything to do with fat cells. However, people that are overweight are genetically predisposed to the condition. Plus, cellulite is more likely to happen to women rather than men.
Now that we have covered what cellulite is and why it occurs, let’s take a look at some of the most popular ways to treat cellulite on the body!
CoolSculpting – This is a non-invasive treatment that both freezes and kills the fat cells on the body of the patient. It is a good option for body shaping and it usually takes multiple treatments to achieve the desired results. Once the final treatment is over, the final results will be visible in 3-4 months.
Laser Treatments – The laser treatments for cellulite reduction are also called radiofrequency systems. The treatment is actually a combination of light therapy, massage and liposuction. The laser works to liquefy the fat, cut the connective tissue to lessen any puckering on the skin, promote the production of collagen and the tightening of the skin, increase the flow of blood and lessen any retention of fluid. In general, the results can last around six months. Cellulaze is an FDA-approved laser treatment that places a laser under the skin in order to shoot heat in three directions.
Shockwave Therapy – This is a lower-energy version of the technology behind kidney stones. It is a non-invasive treatment that is performed twice a week for at least six weeks. Overall, the results last anywhere from 2-6 months.
Subcision – This is a minimally invasive procedure that begins when the surgeon marks the area that is scheduled to be treated. A numbing solution is injected and then a tiny blade is used to cut the connective tissue that holds the fat onto the area where the dimples have formed and are visible.
Cellfina – This hand-held device provides vacuum-assisted control of the depth and the total area being treated by the doctor. On average, a one hour session can see the removal of 20-30 individual cellulite dimples. The results of Cellfina can last up to two years.
Topical Products – There are a number of creams that are available on the market to reduce the amount of cellulite on the body. The creams can contain ingredients that help to promote the breakdown of fat while others contain herbal extracts, vitamins and minerals. It is unclear how much of a benefit these topical products give to patients but they might offer additional value when they are combined with other treatment options.
Liposuction – While this fat removal method is used on a regular basis on the buttocks, thighs and abdomen, it can actually cause the dimpled fat on the body to look worse if it is performed to reduce or eliminate cellulite.
Injectables – There is a procedure that is often called mesotherapy and it is when a doctor injects chemicals into the fat layer that is located below the skin to promote the breakdown of the fat. In turn, the breakdown of the fat should make the cellulite less noticeable on a patient. The ingredients that are used with these injectables include phosphatidylcholine, hormones, aminophylline and herbal extracts as well as vitamins, and minerals. Unfortunately, much like the use of topical products, there is little proof that these treatments actually help reduce the appearance of cellulite on a patient. In addition, many doctors don’t recommend using injectables to reduce or eliminate cellulite because of a risk of infection, rashes, swelling or lumpy skin.
Patients that do not want to use cosmetic procedures to reduce the cellulite on their body can use some natural methods to try and eliminate the cellulite. In a recent study, bioactive collagen peptide was shown to provide a significant reduction in the appearance of dimples and waves in female patients that took a daily dose of 2.5 grams of bioactive collagen peptides. It is believed that improved elasticity from the daily use of the bioactive collagen peptide helps reduce the amount of cellulite because the fibrous bands are able to stretch more easily and also provide improved overall skin health.
In addition, research suggests that improved muscle definition and weight loss in the area with cellulite can improve its appearance. The improved appearance is accomplished by replacing fat with muscle.
Regardless of how a patient decides to reduce the appearance of cellulite on the body, the person needs to follow the advice of a board-certified doctor to achieve the desired amount of cellulite reduction in a safe and healthy manner.