Win the War on Cellulite

The best anticellulite treatments and products to use now.

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Ninety percent of women have cellulite — regardless of shape, size or age. It appears when a collection of fat cells gets trapped in the connective tissue below the skin, causing its surface to pucker. Here, the scoop on what you can do to tackle the orange-peel effect.

The Treatment

Lipostabil injections ($1,000 and up per session)

How It's Supposed to Work

An enzyme called phosphadidyl choline (a.k.a. Lipostabil) is injected into fatty areas, like the butt and thighs, where it is said to break down and dissolve fat, slimming and smoothing the skin.

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Reported Results

There have been no published studies using the enzyme on the butt and thigh areas. There is, however, anecdotal evidence of its success in South America, where the treatment is popular.

The Details

According to Steven Victor, M.D., a New York City cosmetic dermatologist, most patients require up to six sessions to see results.

The Treatment

Endermologie ($80 to $100 per session)

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How It's Supposed to Work

A machine with large rollers (made by a company called LPG) massages the skin to break up fat. It has been FDA-approved for the temporary reduction of the appearance of cellulite.

Reported Results

In a one-year clinical-outcome-study update published in the Aesthetic Plastic Surgery journal in 1998, 90 percent of participants reported an improvement in areas plagued by cellulite.

The Details

The sensation of the rolling machines is similar to deep-tissue massage. Temporary bruising may occur. You will need 14 sessions (two per week) to see results that could last for many months.

The Treatment

Mesotherapy ($2,500 for 10 sessions and a consultation)

How It's Supposed to Work

A solution containing chemical and plant agents, as well as an anesthetic, is injected into dimpled areas. It is said to break down fat and block the production of new fat cells in the mesoderm layer of skin.

Reported Results

No independent U.S. studies exist. But Marion Shapiro, D.O., director of Mesotherapy Associates PC in West Orange, NJ, says most of her female patients lose about two inches after four treatments.

The Details

The injections are said to be painless. After the fat is treated, it is excreted in urine. You will need a minimum of 10 treatments, one per week, to see results. Maintenance shots may be required.

The Treatment

Ionithermie (an average of $125 per session)

How It's Supposed to Work

Two kinds of electrical stimuli, plus algae, conductive clay and special skin products developed in France (where Ionithermie was created) are used together to disperse cellulite.

Reported Results

In a recent independent study conducted in France, the lead physician, Corinne Guibaud, M.D., said: "After 10 sessions, all subjects noticed a visible improvement in the 'orange peel' texture of the skin."

The Details

A clay body mask and electrodes are applied. The electrodes emit a current said to break down and drain toxins. You may see results after the first session. Maintenance treatments are required.

The Treatment

Micro-liposuction plus external ultrasound (around $4,000)

How It's Supposed to Work

Micro-liposuction (performed using small canulas, or tubes) helps extract fat, while the ultrasound can affect the fat underneath the skin, causing it to drape differently after treatment.

Reported Results

"Although liposuction alone does not address cellulite per se, I have seen minor improvements with this combination," says Debra B. Luftman, M.D., a Beverly Hills dermatologist.

The Details

Both procedures can be performed in the same visit but must be administered by a qualified liposuction doctor (to find one, go to www.aad.org). Expect five days of severe bruising.

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