The thighs, butt, stomach and upper arms are the areas that attract cellulite and women are on a constant quest to find a permanent solution to eliminate it. Count poor circulation, connective tissue and fibrous bands that push against fat among the causes for this bulging look. But there has been progress in terms of treating cellulite now that doctors have a better understanding of what it is, how it’s caused and ways to limit it.
Until there’s a permanent cure available, cellulite is, and probably always will be, one of the biggest beauty problems women face, so it’s really no surprise that new supercharged treatments keep making their way into doctors’ offices.
Uses: Radio-frequency waves
How it works: Usually, radio-frequency treatments work well on areas with loose skin because they target fat and connective tissues, which may also help improve the look of cellulite. But many patients find the heat exerted during them to be extremely hot and in some cases unbearable. Thermi RF uses a temperature controlled radio-frequency system to make it more tolerable. A small probe is inserted under the skin and the radio-frequency energy is distributed to the fat cells to melt them—it also helps strengthen skin through new collagen formation. Fat is then excreted out of the body via the lymphatic system during the next few months
What the expert says: “This works, but I think of it as more of a secondary option,” says Dr. Calobrace.
Cost: $3,000 per treatment
Length of treatment: 30 minutes
Uses: Acoustic Wave Technology (AWT)
How it works: A new nonsurgical way of treating cellulite, AWT uses acoustic pressure waves to treat all the different layers of the skin to stimulate the metabolism, produce new collagen, break down fat deposits and improve the function and appearance of connective tissue for improved contours and smoother, healthier-looking skin. The treatment requires six to 12 sessions (two per week) with no downtime.
What the expert says: “This is an interesting technology. I think this will join laser, cold and other energy sources as a means of treating cellulite and remodeling the skin,” says West Palm Beach, FL, dermatologist Kenneth R. Beer, MD.
Available: Between late 2013 and early 2014
Length of treatment: 20 minutes
Uses: Radio-frequency energy and magnetic pulses
How it works: By delivering safe amounts of radio-frequency energy to the lower levels of the skin tissue (through a handheld device that’s applied to areas of concern), a thermal reaction is created that causes the body to stimulate new collagen and elastin and break down fat. As this happens, skin becomes tighter and firmer, making cellulite less visible.
What the expert says: “Even though it sounds like it’s freezing cellulite, it’s a radio-frequency device. In my opinion, all of these types of devices are quite similar,” says Dr. Pozner.
Length of treatment: 20-30 minutes