The persistent nature of cellulite hasn't stopped people from claiming that they have a cure for the condition. Whether their claims are based on actual belief or unscrupulous motives, the fact remains that there's still no easy way to cure cellulite. But that doesn't mean you can't reduce its appearance temporarily.
One treatment that could potentially make a cellulite problem worse is liposuction. That's because the fat provides some of the structure needed for smooth skin. Plus, if the connective tissue has lost its elasticity, removing fat may simply change bulges into dimples.
Other treatments may mask cellulite for a short time ranging from a few hours to a few days. For example, some spas advertise special massage treatments designed to reduce cellulite. But in truth, the massage causes the tissues to swell. This hides cellulite but doesn't eliminate it -- when the swelling reduces the cellulite will be visible again. The same holds true for the brushing technique.
Another treatment dating back more than a decade is called Epidermologie. This technique originated in France. It involves a vacuum and roller system designed to smooth out the skin. Patients wear stockings to protect against friction burns. While the technique may result in a reduction in the appearance of cellulite, the effect normally lasts for only 48 hours [source: Jesitus].
There are several creams on the market with containers that claim daily application will reduce cellulite. The medical evidence of the efficacy of these creams isn't encouraging. Creams designed to reduce fat cells may not be able to penetrate deeply enough to work. Other creams simply cause the tissues to swell temporarily.
Physicians are still looking into potential treatments for fat reduction and cellulite elimination. Currently, it appears that most treatments will only result in a short-lived fix. While this is discouraging news for people dealing with cellulite, it's always better to know the facts before investing hundreds or even thousands of dollars on treatments that are, at best, only good for a few days.
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Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Aesthetic Surgery Journal. "A Possible Cure For Unsightly Cellulite?" Jan. 21, 2009 (Aug. 25, 2009) http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/136075.php
- Blahnik, Jay. "Sorry, no quick fix for cellulite." Los Angeles Times. Mar. 24, 2008. pg. F10.
- Jesitus, John. "Myth busters: Fat dissolution evidence growing, slowly." Cosmetic Dermatologist. June 2009. pp. 61-62.
- Kravitz, Len. "Cellulite: Everything You Want to Know and More." (Aug. 24, 2009) http://www.drlenkravitz.com/Articles/cellulite.html
- Rundle, Rhonda L. "The Latest Cellulite Treatments Sound Too Smooth to Be True." The Wall Street Journal. Aug. 19, 2008. pg. D1.
- Saint Louis, Catherine. "Treating Cellulite? It's Still There." The New York Times. Jun. 25, 2009. pg. E3.
- Woolston, Chris. "The Healthy Skeptic: A dream cream for cellulite? Sorry, no." Los Angeles Times. Nov. 3, 2008. pg. F1.