Cellulite: the bane of many women's existence. Dimpled flesh on your thighs and butt (and elsewhere) that seems to show up one day (ugh) and never seems to go away (double ugh). For years, natural remedies like coffee grounds and newly marketed creams/lotions have claimed to battle the enemy and result in smooth skin. But is it all just a bunch of BS?
We chatted with David J. Goldberg, M.D., J.D, a cosmetic dermatologist in NYC and director of Skin Laser & Surgery Specialists of New York and New Jersey, to get the lowdown on getting rid of your cellulite once and for all. Can it be done? CAN IT?
In short: It's grim.
"If your mother has it, and you are a woman, you are 'doomed' to have cellulite as well," says Dr. Goldberg. (We told you it was grim.) "Baby girls have it at birth, because they have their mother's estrogen. It then disappears during childhood and reappears at puberty."
While certain things can lessen or heighten the appearance of cellulite (i.e. cellulite is often less noticeable after losing weight), it never really goes away. Ever. "Exercise and dieting do not work!" emphasizes Dr. Goldberg. And Dr. Goldberg cautions against topical products—AKA those creams you've been slathering on—as many of them don't really do anything.
"Laser liposuction has been shown to help cellulite, but it's a very invasive procedure that requires an incision and local anesthesia," she said. "EndyMed 3DEEP skin tightening treatments are a good, noninvasive alternative." (EndyMed 3DEEP uses radiofrequency technology to tighten and firm the skin by stimulating the body's collagen renewal process; it costs around $2,000).
Other new options include Cellulaze, an FDA-approved invasive procedure specifically targeted for cellulite. Cellulaze inserts a laser close to the surface of the skin to melt pockets of fat and tightens skin; it typically costs around $5,000. Zwave is a similar FDA-approved procedure involving high-energy shockwaves that will set you back around $500 for treatment.
For a non-invasive treatment that's been shown to help with cellulite, Vanquish uses radio-frequented energy to destroy fat cells and firm skin. (Procedures typically fall within $500-$800).
Feel like everyone is dimple-free? Don't. According to a 2014 study, 85-98% of women have cellulite. Yes, even celebrities. "Stop looking at Hollywood stars who appear without cellulite in their photos," says Dr. Goldberg. "Their photos are airbrushed."
Obviously, this we knew, but sometimes it's nice to read it again, right?
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