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Do Cellulite Creams Really Work?



Cellulite creams do not work.


Methylxanthines are chemicals found in cellulite creams that have the ability to remove stores of fat, but they cannot provide the necessary concentration of those chemicals to be truly curative and significant. They are marketed as dietary supplements rather than drugs, are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and do not have to meet the agency’s safety and effectiveness standards. As a result, valid clinical studies have never been conducted to support their use in treating cellulite.

What Is Cellulite?

Cellulite is a term used to describe the skin’s dimpled appearance, often found on the buttocks, hips, and thighs of both men and women. This change results from fat deposits pushing and distorting connective tissue beneath the skin, and medical professionals consider it to be a “normal variant”. Since people with cellulite often want to improve the appearance of their skin, a variety of solutions has been recommended. These treatments include the following:

Mechanical Machines: Several machines that massage those areas where cellulite is found have also been introduced, they gather certain areas of skin with rolling cylinders to massage them, and this is known as “endermologie”. The sessions, which last from 30-45 minutes, are also expensive, and 10-12 of them are needed to produce any noticeable results. While this procedure has FDA approval, the results are only temporary unless ongoing maintenance treatments are scheduled.

Light Therapy: Two light-therapy devices combining massage or suction with light therapy also have FDA approval for reducing cellulite temporarily. For long-term results, they both require maintenance sessions, and the treatments are prohibitively expensive.

Cellulite Diets: Some special diets have also been introduced that are said to be successful as cellulite therapy. Their proponents feel that a careful combination of foods will aid in improving circulation, reducing inflammation, and diminishing cellulite-but to date, there are no scientific studies that support these claims. Authorities note that, in general, eating a balanced diet may benefit an individual’s overall health and decrease fluid retention, but they can add nothing further.

Body Wraps: Many salons use various types of body wraps in order to treat cellulite. Along with the special diets, this type of treatment has never been verified in any type of scientific study. While it is known that body wraps improve the skin’s appearance and assist in decreasing fluid retention, these outcomes are also temporary, and it is impossible to “detoxify” the body by using any kind of wrap.

Exercise and Diet: A healthy diet that combines weight loss with muscle gain can help to reduce the appearance of cellulite.



“Cellulite.” N.p., n.d. Web. 10 June 2010.

“American Academy of Dermatology: Dermatologists Shed Light on Treatments for Cellulite. – Free Online Library.” News, Magazines, Newspapers, Journals, Reference Articles and Classic Books – Free Online Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 June 2010.…-a090029219.

“Cellulite: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 June 2010.

 “FTC: Skin Patches Do Not Cause Weight Loss.” Federal Trade Commission. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 June 2010.

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