One of the most exciting advances in medical aesthetics in recent years is nonsurgical body contouring – which means significant improvement in the appearance of one of the most stubborn cosmetic concerns: cellulite. Without a doubt, newer technology has played a role and, while no body contouring treatment can claim to completely erase cellulite or unwanted fat, when it comes to those annoying lumps and bumps that nobody wants, things are definitely looking up.
Who gets cellulite? The easier question may be, who does not get cellulite? An estimated 85 percent of women over the age of 30 have some degree of it and, yes, it is more prevalent in women due to a naturally higher percentage of body fat, as well as thinner skin. Fluctuations in body weight, including pregnancy, can also exacerbate cellulite. It often appears on the buttocks and backs of legs but can also show up on upper arms, around the knees, and
There are a few different methods of treating cellulite. One nonsurgical treatment, Cellfina, works by breaking apart the connective tissue that gives skin a dimpled appearance. This one-time treatment can be performed in less than an hour and downtime is very minimal; a topical numbing cream is typically applied beforehand to ensure the client’s comfort.
Another treatment, ThermiSmooth, uses radiofrequency-controlled heat to basically melt fat and, in the process, tighten and smooth skin by stimulating collagen production. Most clients require four to eight treatments spread out over several weeks. There is no downtime, and, typically, no pain is associated with the procedure.
Finally, another popular approach is CoolSculpting. Technically, this is a nonsurgical fat reduction treatment that uses (as the name suggests) controlled cooling to target fat cells underneath the skin, causing them to freeze and, eventually, die off. Many clients have also seen an improvement in the appearance of cellulite. The number of treatments needed depends on the patient and the size of the area(s) being treated. Results are typically noticed about three weeks following treatment, with optimal results reported at about two months.
The best way for clients to determine which treatment, or combination of treatments, is right for them is by discussing their goals with a qualified medical aesthetics provider. Everyone is different – some might have excess body fat, but minimal cellulite, while others might be thin, but have significant cellulite. Some skin might be thin, others a bit thicker. Aging skin endures an additional challenge in that it is less capable of holding pockets of fat or cellulite into place. All of these things should be taken into consideration before treatment begins.
Though technology has come a long way, one thing upon which most medical aesthetics experts agree is that no treatment by itself will cure cellulite. Healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating a low-fat diet and incorporating regular exercise, along with possible maintenance treatments, are necessary components. So, rather than trying to find a cure, instead focus on finding a treatment plan that works for clients and stick with it.