Too Good to Be True?

Mid section of fit woman in bikini on the beach holding flip flops

A new treatment provides hope for battling cellulite

Summer is right around the corner, which means shorts, bathing suits, and the dread of showcasing your cellulite to the world. Treatments to address dimpling abound: lotions that help “smooth skin”, special brushes to massage cellulite away, or stick-on patches that infuse caffeine into skin. But nothing really works effectively and, for many women, cellulite can erode self-confidence and impact lifestyle choices.

For all the lotions and potions around, the science of how cellulite occurs is critical in finding an effective treatment. Fibrous, connective bands weave through fat in the thighs and buttocks and pull down skin creating the dimpling effect known as cellulite. Imagine it like a taut rubber band, if the band is released the skin smoothes out.

Cellfina, an FDA-approved treatment, offers women a breakthrough solution that’s anchored in this science. The treatment involves a type of hand-held device that suctions the skin so a trained doctor can insert a small needle that cuts the fibrous bands to release skin and smooth out puckering. The procedure is minimally invasive and does not require general anesthesia, though a localized one is applied.

The treatment takes about 45 minutes and results are visible in as early as three days. Immediately after the treatment expect some soreness and bruising for up to two to three weeks, so don’t schedule a treatment right before a vacation. Patients continued to see improved results up to a year after the treatment.

Currently, two practices are performing the treatment in the area: Davis & Pyle Plastic Surgery and Aesthetic Solutions of Chapel Hill. Dr. Jeremy Pyle says he was impressed with the treatment’s satisfaction rate. In clinical trials, 96 percent of women who received the treatment were still satisfied with results after two years. He also adds that it’s important to manage expectations. Though the results have been very promising, women should aim for substantial improvement not perfection.