Because of gradual loss of collagen and elastin in the skin, and hormonal changes throughout life, causing shifting in body composition, unattractive rolls of localized fat, cellulite and skin laxity may gradually appear and become permanent, despite the maintenance of healthy eating habits and regular exercising.
Over the years, there have been many treatments for getting rid of cellulite or fat bulges. Too often, though, they were scams or involved magical thinking and, despite the exorbitant costs, were not very effective. A successful treatment calls for a comprehensive approach, and factors that can be controlled should be targeted first- through a balanced diet, reduced consumption of salt and caffeine and increased exercise.
Numerous technical modalities are now available to help improving the outcomes in body contouring and skin tightening. They all use some forms of energy, either alone or in combination:
- Radio-frequency-based technologies, with or without infrared light, laser or mechanical massage, can be used to recontour and firm up annoying, unattractive bulges, improve the appearance of cellulite and lead to circumferential reduction of waist and thighs. Their deep action in the dermis and the subdermal layers of tissue promotes the contraction and thus the remodeling of collagen. It stimulates blood circulation, the metabolism of adipose tissues and the tightening of the fibrous bands that hold the fatty tissue to the skin. In combination, these effects act to reduce cellulite and remodel body contours. A good maintenance program combining healthy diet, regular exercise and periodic treatments is essential for the long-term control of cellulite and to stimulate ongoing skin tightening.
- Technologies using ultrasound energy to ‘’melt’’ adipocytes or technologies using the principle of cryolipolysis (fat cell destruction through deep cooling of tissues) can be used for the treatment of stubborn, hard to lose fat pockets (for instance, tummy, flanks, saddle bags and thighs), to selectively break down fat cells without affecting neighboring structures (nerves, vessels, muscle tissues) and resulting in contour improvement. The adipocyte content, primarily consisting of triglycerides, is dispersed throughout the fluid between the cells and then transported through the vascular and lymphatic systems to the liver, to be processed through the body’s natural mechanisms. After a single treatment, patients can enjoy an average reduction of 2-3 centimeters in body circumference. Multiple treatments are sometimes recommended for incremental fat thickness and circumference reduction, and overall enhanced results.