can cellulite be broken down


Treatments for cellulite with lasers and other devices are sometimes painful, need to be repeated periodically, and must be done by a physician. But women who want to reduce cellulite fast may want to try these pricey techniques before lower-tech options.

A caveat: Some of the technologies are FDA-approved as Class I devices—meaning, they present minimal potential for harm. But others are being used off-label—that is, not for the purpose for which they are approved. And some are still being tested and have not yet been submitted for FDA approval.

Laser Toning For cellulite that has more ripples than isolated, divotlike depressions, Beverly Hills dermatologist Harold Lancer, MD, relies on the Galaxy, a device commonly used for facial wrinkles. It directs radio frequency and laser light energy beneath the skin’s surface, causing a wound response that lays down new collagen and tightens the skin. “I’ve treated 100 patients with the Galaxy, and the results are good,” he says. He is one of a few doctors using the laser for cellulite reduction.

Cold-Laser Massage The Tri-Active laser was approved by the FDA in January 2004 and is permitted to claim that it “temporarily reduces the appearance of cellulite.” This device combines suction massage to increase lymphatic drainage, which filters fluid from cells; low-intensity diode heat to stimulate collagen production and tighten skin; and a cooling head to counter any burning sensation. “It’s so painless you can fall asleep while it’s being done,” says Mitchel Goldman, MD, an associate professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Diego.

But that may depend on how deeply you sleep. One patient reported: “The feeling ranges from that of a pleasant, light massage to an uncomfortable, deep-tissue rubdown.”

VelaSmooth This handheld device combines radio frequency with infrared light (both of which, the company claims, soften and rearrange fat) and suction (to stretch out the fibrous strands that cause dimpling). Testing required for FDA approval is under way at approximately 100 doctors’ offices across the US. One of the investigators, Lisa Benest, MD, a dermatologist in private practice in Burbank, CA, says, "After eight sessions, patients’ measurements are an inch or two smaller, and their skin looks tighter with less rippling. We believe that fat is being melted.