Cellulite Removal: Treatments and Facts

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Cellulite, the bane of nearly 90% of American women, is characterized by the appearance of fatty, dimpled skin tissue on the buttocks, thighs, abdomen, hips, and even on the arms and legs. Unfortunately, no cellulite cure has been discovered yet, and studies into the causes and treatment of cellulite still leave many questions unanswered. But significant modern advancements have been made in the medical and cosmetic industries—enough to provide us with useful tips for cellulite prevention, and worthwhile cellulite treatments to try out.

Cellulite Causes

Cellulite is the reason behind many women's beach concerns and short-short woes, but by comparison, only an estimated 10% of American men are plagued with this problem. This is largely due to the differences in men and women's collagen and tissue structures. According to Lionel Bissoon, an osteopathic physician in New York who authored The Cellulite Cure, "in women, [collagen] has the appearance of a picket fence, whereas in men it looks more like a cross-linked fence". Obviously, a cross-linked collagen structure will be better equipped to contain fat tissue than a picket fence-like structure will.

Women also produce more estrogen than men do, and estrogen is known for its fat-building tendencies. It's also true that because women were designed to bear children, their bodies are naturally programmed to store greater amounts of fat than men's bodies. Excess fat deposits are one of the key ingredients to developing cellulite. Combined with a genetic predisposition and high levels of estrogen, lack of exercise and a poor diet will contribute to overall body fat percentage, and thus increase the presence of cellulite.

What Type of Cellulite do I Have?

Not only may you be experiencing cellulite in one or more areas of the body, you may have a specific stage of cellulite that can classify it as easily treatable, or "terminal," which is the label Bissoon assigns to the most severe cases of cellulite. The cellulite-savvy Bissoon named four grades of cellulite that he identifies when treating patients.

  • Grade 0: no visible cellulite
  • Grade 1: a cottage cheese-like texture is apparent when the skin is pinched
  • Grade 2: cellulite is visible on the legs when standing up
  • Grade 3: "terminal" cellulite is often clearly visible even when lying down and/or looking in a mirror

Depending on the grade of cellulite you have, treatment can be simple or difficult, and the treatment options will also change. For example, grade 1 cellulite sufferers have a greater possibility of successful treatment results because their symptoms are less pronounced to begin with; they may satisfactorily correct their cellulite symptoms with only the aid of a topical product. Cellulite patients who have grade 2 or grade 3 cellulite may require professional cellulite treatments to gain the results they want.

How to Get Rid of Cellulite

Although there is currently no cellulite treatment that can permanently correct cellulite, there are many cosmetic treatment options and topical products that can help lessen the appearance of this problem. As hinted at above, the best measures you will have against cellulite is maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly—both of these methods will help you to reduce your overall body fat percentage, which will in turn reduce or eliminate cellulite dimples. According to Lionel Bissoon, to successfully eliminate cellulite, patients need to address the three main components of cellulite: fat, poor circulation, and collagen deterioration. By targeting all three factors, and essentially boosting collagen, reducing fat and improving circulation, patients stand a good chance of beating cellulite.

Topical Cellulite Products

There are many claims out there, both for and against the effectiveness of cellulite removal products. The truth is that, while a select few of these products can help get rid of cellulite, the most significant, immediate cellulite removal results will be achieved through professional cosmetic treatments.

Many popular cellulite treatment products today include active ingredients like caffeine, L-Carnitine and aminophylline, which have proven to be helpful in reducing the amount of excess fat being stored by skin tissue in those areas. Other cellulite removal products include ingredients like retinoids, Vitamin A, and even alpha hydroxy acids to help skin tissue regenerate faster and keep skin looking healthy and supple. Some of the top cellulite removal products on the market today include:

  • RevitaShape Anti-Cellulite and Toning Formula
  • Nivea Body Goodbye Cellulite line
  • Oligo DX Cellulite Reducing Gel
  • Revitol Cellulite Solution
  • Murad Firm and Tone Serum
  • Cellex-C Cellulite Smoothing Complex

Professional Cellulite Treatments

There are many new and innovative cellulite solutions to choose from in the cosmetic enhancement industry. Not only do professional cellulite treatments provide safe, effective cellulite removal options, they are typically performed by either a highly trained aesthetician, physician's assistant, or a licensed cosmetic professional.

For non-surgical cellulite treatments, the best options include injectables and non-invasive body shaping techniques. Injectable cellulite treatments use a concentrated formula of vitamins, minerals and other organic compounds to literally liquefy and break down fat deposits. Body shaping treatments typically utilize a combination of radio frequency energy, mechanical tissue massage and manipulation, and/or laser energy to improve skin circulation, stimulate collage production and tighten skin tissue.

The top cellulite treatments of today include:

Other patients try to seek out procedures like liposuction and SmartLipo to treat cellulite, but in truth, liposuction is not recommended for cellulite removal. In fact, some patients have found that liposuction treatments make their cellulite symptoms even worse. This is because connective tissue breakdown and collagen deterioration is not addressed with liposuction; fat deposits are only removed from below the surface tissue layers.

Which Cellulite Treatment is Right for Me?

It can be difficult to know which cellulite treatment is the right one for you, but the decision-making process will be easier once you have a trained physician or cellulite removal specialist assess your condition and make appropriate treatment recommendations. If you're concerned about the cost of cellulite removal, it might be worthwhile to try over-the-counter products first to see if their results are sufficient. If those products aren't doing the trick, spending a little more for a professional cosmetic cellulite treatment might provide better results—this was certainly the case for Kim Kardashian and her famous derrière!

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