Cellulite is a very common cosmetic condition that affects about 90% of women-truth is anyone can develop cellulite but it’s most common in women as compared to men.
Contrary to popular belief, cellulite is not a weight problem but rather a result of enlargement of fat cells due to excess accumulation of fats thus exerting pressure on the skin and layers of fibrous connective tissues which leads to the uneven surface or dimpling.
Cellulite is characterized by dimply or bumpy skin, which can sometimes be described as orange peel or cottage cheese texture. Commonly the condition affects the thighs, buttocks, arms, and stomach.
If you suffer from cellulite, don’t fret! Thanks to technological advancements there are numerous treatments now. However, the only problem is knowing what works-gets rid of cellulite or at least effectively reduces them.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) dermatologists have been conducting research to determine the best cellulite treatment. Good news, these researchers indicate that some treatments actually do work and make cellulite temporarily unnoticeable.
Being overweight or obese affects the appearance of cellulite. In fact, it makes the condition more noticeable.
For some people losing the extra fat, incorporating a healthy diet and regular exercising may actually improve the general appearance of the dimpled, uneven skin surfaces.
Cellulite Laser treatment – cellulaze
This was the first FDA invasive laser treatment approved. The procedure involves insertion of a small laser fiber into the skin which then heats up the tissues beneath the skin and;
- Enhances the skin’s elasticity and texture. The procedure basically thickens the skin which helps to reduce the occurrence of cellulite.
- Promotes the production of collagen.
- Unleashes some of the fibrous septae (fibrous strands that separate fat cells).
- Minimizes the thickness of the subcutaneous fat layer.
The results for this treatment method last for a period of 1 year or more and the desired results are usually achieved after one treatment.
Non-laser energy-based treatment
Majority of the treatments employ radiofrequency energy, infrared light, radial pulses or ultrasound to stimulate the production of collagen, heat the skin and minimize cellulite.
However, depending on the treatment, these cellulite reduction methods promote moderate fat reduction as well as loosen the fibrous septae which makes it possible to achieve a smooth and even skin texture.
1. Zimmer z wave (radial pulse therapy)
This method utilizes high energy shock waves on the affected area. According to research, the shockwaves alter the collagen structure, the skin’s connective tissue while improving the circulation of blood.
The treatment improves the firmness and elasticity of the skin as well as promotes regeneration of collagen.
Basically, the procedure works by breaking down the tissues around the affected area which leads to the disintegration of gas bubbles found within the fat structure notes Dendy Engelman, M.D., medical dermatology and cosmetic surgery.
However, this treatment method requires more than one session to get the desired results.
This is another non-invasive treatment method that employs radio frequency(RF) energy directly on the affected area.
The procedure works by applying heat directly to targeted cells and destroys them without causing any damage to the surrounding tissues and muscles or the skin. Typically, the patients are positioned on a treatment table and a vanquishing machine is directed towards the affected area but does not make contact with the body.
However, despite being a quick and painless fat removal technique, it’s often used together with Zwave for effective reduction.
Other FDA approved energy-based cellulite reduction techniques include:
- Venus freeze which uses a combination of RF and pulsed electromagnetic fields.
- Vela shape which incorporates RF and infrared light.
- The term smooth body which uses RF.
Some people prefer the use of liposuction to reduce cellulite.
This procedure involves the insertion of a narrow tube into the skin via small incisions which suctions the fat out fat cells.
Although liposuction is very effective in removing unwanted fats, it isn’t recommended for cellulite treatment since it may actually cause the dimpling to become more obvious. However, laser-assisted liposuction which is a less invasive method can destroy fat cells while tightening the skin.
Topical treatments – Cryolipolysis and ultrasound
This technique freezes lipids in fat cells which are then removed. The procedure is usually used in treating abdominal fat and fats along the sides of the body.
However, according to AAD, it is not recommended for treating cellulite.
Ultrasonic liposuction is a noninvasive cellulite treatment technique which uses sound waves to eliminate targeted fat in the thighs and abdomen.
Mechanical treatments – Cellfina
Cellfina which is a mechanical cellulite reduction treatment that works by releasing tightened septae into the skin through small blades.
During the procedure, the skin is moderately suctioned up into the cellfina device which gives room for the dermatologist to insert a needle beneath the skin and disintegrate the tough bands found under the skin which are responsible for causing cellulite.
Results from this treatment are noticeable after a few days of treatment and usually last for about three years. However, the treatment may have serious side effects when performed badly; the temporary side effects include soreness and mild bruising.
Alternative treatment options
1. Ionithermic cellulite reduction treatment
This technique involves slathering the affected area with algae, clay or a mixture of both and attachment of electrodes to the area.
Afterward, the area will be wrapped with plastic: the patient may feel mild electric current as the process continues.
However, evidence that the procedure works is wanting as some people claim their skin feels toned but the cellulite remains visible and the results only last for 12-18 hours.
This procedure involves a series of injections in the affected areas. A variable of substances such as enzymes, hormones, caffeine and herbal extracts are used.
Most technicians use a mixture of these ingredients hence it’s difficult to determine the exact ingredient- if any- that is effective.
Side effects of this technique include allergic skin reactions, infections, redness, swelling and formation of tender lumps beneath the skin.
This technique is provided in spas and involves the use of a device that gives deep massages while also lifting up your skin with a vacuum tool.
However, this treatment method requires more than one session to see the desired results. Despite being approved by the FDA as a safe medical device, there is no proof that the technique actually works.
Additionally, endermologie treatment results vary (in some cases this technique indicated a significant reduction in cellulite while in others, there weren’t any changes at all) and are temporary, therefore if you see results from this treatment, it’s important to continue the treatment otherwise it will return a month after stopping the treatment.
Creams and lotions
Topical creams and lotions that contain caffeine and dehydrated cells reduce the appearance of cellulite. However, to maintain the results you will need to apply these products on a daily basis.
Additionally, products with 0.3% retinol can lessen the appearance of cellulite based on studies. Retinol also thickens the skin which minimizes its appearance.
However, to determine whether retinol actually works for you, you need to have used the product for at least 6months or longer.
Additionally, it’s important to prevent an allergic reaction from a cellulite cream or lotion by testing it on a small area first. If you do not experience any allergic reaction within two days you can then commence using more of the product.
Now that you know the possible cellulite treatments, it’s vital to seek a dermatologist’s or a doctor’s advice in order to avoid an unnecessary cosmetic treatment.
A dermatologist who performs these treatments is in a better position to assist you to select the best treatment option for you.