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Solutions to Common Skin Problems: Cellulite

cellulites

Those bumps and dimples are all about genetics (thanks, Mom and Dad!). Contrary to what many people think, cellulite is nothing more than regular fat. But if you’re predisposed to cellulite, that fat bulges forward between the bands of tissue that connect your skin to your muscles, says Alan Gold, a plastic surgeon in Great Neck, New York. Excess weight can cause cellulite to become more prominent, due to the extra fat under the skin, but even thin people can have it.

What Works

  • Endermologie: A technician runs a vacuum-like suction tube over your skin and follows that with a heavy-duty massaging roller. The bands under the skin are stimulated and stretched temporarily, causing swelling and thickening, which plumps the skin so dimples appear smoother. You’ll need a treatment every eight weeks.
    Cost: $150 and up per session.
  • Cellulite creams and gels: In the short term, creams and gels can make cellulite appear less obvious. Ingredients such as caffeine make the skin swell, and polymers form a light film on the skin as they dry, pulling it smooth. You need to apply daily, since you remove the product―and its effects―when you shower.
    Cost: From $10 at drugstores to more than $100 at department stores and spas.

What Doesn’t Work

Mesotherapy, in which a doctor injects saline or some other liquid into the skin to disperse fat. Liposuction is a bust, too: It sucks out fat but not the bands of tissue that create the bumpy appearance.

Quick Cover-Up

Try a body bronzer or a tinted self-tanner, even on darker skin, to visually smooth out the look of dimples.

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