Once and for all….Cellulite: What Can, or Cannot, Be Done to Eliminate it….
By: Oleda Baker
There are millions of dollars spent very year on “Trying To Get Rid Of Cellulite.” Here are the hard facts on what can, or cannot, be done….once and for all!!
One of the questions I’m asked frequently by friends and customers concerns cellulite. That’s only natural, since it is estimated that 85% of women develop it. So, since it’s such a pervasive question, here’s the total scoop on the subject.
What is Cellulite?
Simply stated, cellulite is fat, the same as any other fat on your body. The term refers to the dimpled appearance of the skin seen in areas of the hips, thighs, and buttocks. It is more commonly seen in women because of the way a woman’s body distributes fat. It may become more prevalent at times because of a hormonal surge, like during pregnancy or puberty. It is an increased ratio of fat cells to lean body mass, formed by a system-wide failure to eliminate fibrous proteins that accumulate between the cells. Men are less likely to have cellulite because they have thicker skin, which is much better at hiding the fat beneath.
So what can be done?
There are plenty of cellulite treatments. They are listed below but, I tell you in advance, some are expensive; none are permanent, except, perhaps, one that has not yet been proven safe. Some don’t work at all and there are some very temporary ones. As with anything else, you must exercise caution, since some of the unproven treatments could be potentially dangerous.
Exercise and Diet .
Getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet lower in calories, and maintaining a normal weight may work as a cellulite treatment for some people. Experts suggest a whole foods diet with less complex carbohydrates and sugars than usually recommended; large amounts of filtered water; decreasing fats to below 20% of the total diet, and avoiding as much as possible animal fats and processed fats.
But exercise and diet, while it can help, won’t necessarily solve the problem completely.
Self-massage of the affected area regularly might help and can be done easily at home. After massage let gravity help by propping your legs up against a wall or over a chair and massage, very lightly, the crease formed by the legs and the abdomen in order to open the channels for the elimination of those fibrous proteins loosened by the exercise and massage.
There are many creams on the market as cellulite treatments. Most are over the counter and a few are by prescription. Most of them have some fancy sounding ingredient, like prehistoric mud and the pollen of the most rare Alpine weed, etc.
Doctors say these creams may work for some people. Any results, however, are temporary, and the best ones are those containing theophylline or caffeine, which some studies have shown cause fat cells to dissolve.
A combination of a cream, with ingredients that help dissolve the cellulite, and the self-massage of the areas, with the cream, may help in releasing the proteins for elimination while also reducing the fat cells surrounding the proteins. The massage increases circulation which is necessary to carry away the released fats and proteins.
One of the best known cellulite treatments is Endermologie, a deep-massage therapy that uses a device that suctions the skin with a vacuum and kneads it with a set of rollers. The deep tissue massage can break up some of the fibrous bands, help circulation, and improve the appearance of the skin. While it works for some women, the effects don’t last. Regular maintenance is needed to keep up appearances and individual sessions cost more than $100 on average. They’re usually done weekly and take about an hour. Some people will get no results.
Mesotherapy involves a series of injections into small pockets of cellulite. They contain a solution of homeopathic medications and supplements that supposedly break down fat and “flush” it away. Widely accepted inEurope, it has yet to be studied scientifically here, but there’s a good deal of skepticism. A lot of injections heighten the risk of side effects and problems. The treatment is very expensive, perhaps five times more than Endermologie. According to Dr. Lisa Donofrio, associate Clinical professor, dermatology, Yale University School of Medicine, “If you look at the literature, there just isn’t good evidence that it works and it can also cause really serious infections.”
The fact is that no combination of herbs or vitamins is known to have any effect on cellulite whatsoever, except perhaps as an aid to diet and weight control, which, as I’ve said before, can have some effect.
Liposuction doesn’t work either for cellulite. Liposuction can really only get at fat that’s deep down beneath the skin. Cellulite is generally too close to the surface for liposuction to help. Besides, it’s the fibrous bands that really give cellulite its appearance. Getting rid of fat alone wouldn’t really do much.
Some clothing manufacturers offer an undergarment that supposedly reduces cellulite by creating massage as you walk around town. The world’s dermatologists are unconvinced.
On the Horizon
A number of cellulite treatment devices have been developed that combine deep tissue massage with other features, such as light and radio frequency therapy.
The FDA recently approved two devices. The first, called TriActive, relies on laser light. In a recent study, the TriActive laser had an 83% success rate, but there’s only been a short follow-up, so we don’t know how long it will last. TriActive is a nonmedical device, and is available in both doctor’s offices and skin care centers. It comes in a package of 16 twice-weekly, 40-minute treatments for about $1200.
A second light device, approved by the FDA, is VelaSmooth. Because it emits a high level of energy, VelaSmooth is classified as a medical device, with treatments available only through a doctor, Cost can run as high as $2000 for 10 treatments, with results lasting about six months.
What Can Be Done?
Until that miraculous treatment appears, if it ever does, when cellulite can be permanently eliminated at reasonable cost, most of us will just have to put up with it. If you’re dying to try something—and provided the therapy you want has no risks—you could do so. However, keep a level head because, at best, the results are going to be temporary and expensive. Be cautious before investing too much money.
If you’re considering treatment in a doctor’s office, shop around. Some doctors who have invested in an expensive cellulite-treatment machine might be tempted to use it even in cases where it probably won’t work. If you do decide to get a series of treatments, make sure you understand how many you’ll need and how much you’ll be paying.
Since you can’t get rid of it, maybe a change of attitude might be the best therapy you could possibly perform. The next time you’re looking over your shoulder, staring unhappily at the reflection of your backside in your bedroom mirror, remember this: If 85% of the women of the world have cellulite, so, too, do 85% of the most beautiful among them, including movie stars and celebrities. And if these glamorous beauties can have cellulite, maybe you should not be so hard on yourself!!