Cellulite

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Cellulite is a body condition that affects over 90% of women. All women have cellulite to some degree – even those who think they do not. Men, however, do not have cellulite. It is a secondary sexual characteristic of women which is why men aren’t physically affected by it.
While so many women are plagued by cellulite, they no longer have to suffer living through it. Today, there are multiple ground-breaking solutions. Some of the more advanced treatments include new combinations of lasers, radiofrequency, light sources, suction and massage such as SmoothShape®, VelaShape™, Triactive™ and Accent™. These four technologies use light and radiofrequency in conjunction with suction massage to melt and dissolve fat cells related to cellulite.  Not only do each of these treatment methods smooth skin associated with the dimpling deformities of cellulite, but also they tighten the skin.  This proves most effective because it restores fat cells back in their “normal location” or fatty compartments. We have learned that the appearance of cellulite is due to movement of fat cells from the fatty layer to an abnormal position in the dermis, the second layer of skin. 

To combat cellulite using solutions beyond lasers, there are also new topical agents that are being explored in Europe and South America. These agents contain retinoic acids similar to vitamin A, which also have been shown to be helpful in smoothing out the irregularities associated with cellulite. There are also new minimally-invasive surgical techniques that have recently been introduced to treat cellulite. These include subscision where a needle is inserted into the cellulite dimples, performed under local anesthesia, to remove the thickened bands related to trapped cellulite cells in the dermis. The results are very effective in deeper cellulite dimples.

Recent reports demonstrate another option in the war against cellulite.   A combination of internally placed laser fibers similar to SmartLipo™ performed in conjunction with new generation fillers like poly-L-lactic acid or Sculptra, have been effective in more severe advanced grades of cellulite.  Finally, on the horizon are the new mesotherapy techniques where combinations of injectable biologic agents are injected directly into the cellulite dimples. Investigative trials are now taking place in the United States to prove the efficacy of this technique, which long ago gained popularity in both South America and Europe. Mesotherapy is not an FDA approved cellulite technique but has shown promise in initial treatment trials.

In summary, while cellulite affects women regardless of weight or size. New treatment modalities have led to great promise in this arena. New topical preparations are being investigated, along with the introduction of multiple light sources, radiofrequency sources and laser technologies. Also, new minimally-invasive surgical techniques now give great promise to cellulite treatment which until recently has been a therapeutic dilemma.

Article by
New York Dermatologic Surgeon