Get Rid of Cellulite
Posted On Mar 13, 2017
FOR MANY WOMEN, the notion of bathing suit season incites anything from mild insecurity to widespread panic. After all, cellulite affects up to 90 percent of women, 71 percent of whom report embarrassment over its appearance. (Could it be that the other 19 percent are lying?)
Contrary to popular belief, there’s no direct association between obesity and cellulite. It affects women of all shapes and sizes, doesn’t go away with exercise, and is often made more obvious when someone loses weight. Cellulite’s orange peel or mattress-like appearance comes from a medical condition affecting the deep dermal tissue and superficial subcutaneous tissue. Impaired circulation, inflammation, and the build up of cellular toxins cause fat cells to become swollen and trapped in the fibrous connective tissue bands within this tissue layer. This creates the dimpled appearance that all women have come to dread.
Millions of dollars and decades spent on lotions, potions, and various treatments have yielded disappointing results in the condition’s abatement. Modest improvements in the “appearance” of cellulite, for example, fail to correct the structural abnormalities that cause the dimpling. Today, however, a group of minimally invasive devices have emerged that show real and lasting improvement, often in one single treatment. (Remember: There’s a steep learning curve in the offering of these treatments, and physicians agree that it’s best to be certain your provider has clinical experience.)
Cellulaze™, produced by Cynosure, is the undisputed frontrunner in this space. It’s the first minimally invasive laser designed specifically for the treatment of cellulite. In a single office-based treatment, a small fiberis introduced under the skin melts superficial fat, releases fibrous bands, and stimulates collagen production to create smoother, healthier skin. While the downside includes swelling and bruising that can last for a couple of weeks, initial patients from the study have maintained their results for three years and holding. Robert Bowen, MD offers a caveat to Cellulaze’s impressive results: “With any cosmetic treatment, patient selection is important in determining the outcome. Younger patients in relatively good shape achieve nearly full correction, whereas older patents with skin laxity achieve measurable improvement.”
Other companies are now eagerly introducing competing technologies. Sound Surgical Technologies has developed VaserSmooth™, which employs ultrasound energy instead of a laser to release the fibrous cords and improve skin. Sciton, Inc, touts a “proprietary cannula and laser pulse delivery method,” which—according to Louisville, Kentucky plastic surgeon Marc Salzman MD—“offers faster and more uniform treatments than existing technology.”
For those not quite ready to undergo surgery, a novel technology called Cellupulse uses acoustic wave therapy (AWT)—sound waves—to combat cellulite. The sound waves relax the connective tissue bands that cause cellulite, restoring the skin to a smooth texture. A series of six to eight treatments are required for best results. “The Cellupulse provides great results that are visible following the first treatment,” says Sharon McQuillan, MD, of Aventura, Florida. “We’re seeing lasting results in patients because we’re addressing the causes of cellulite with these treatments, not just improving its appearance.”
Regardless of the technology a patient decides to try, one thing is for certain: Minimally invasive treatment of cellulite is here to stay. And, as technology continues to advance, women can breathe easy again as the summer weather hits.