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Would Researchers Please Identify the Cellulite Gene?


Charges for these procedures vary among doctors; endermology treatments range from $50 to $100 per treatment. Liposuction ranges from $2,000 to $6,000.

From the sunny Florida beaches, Leslie Baumann, MD, director of cosmetic dermatology at the University of Miami, gives WebMD a more global perspective. "In France, women don't drink carbonated beverages so they won't get cellulite, but I've never seen studies on that. It's an old wives' tale."

Also in Europe, women get injections of caffeine, but that's not been published, Baumann adds. "Some of my patients from Europe have told me about it, that it worked for their friends."

Creams are the way to go, says Baumann. "Creams that contain caffeine and aminophylline help dehydrate the fat cells, so they have a temporary benefit, but it only lasts about 24 hours. It just temporarily shrinks up the fat cells." She adds that the change is subtle.

As for endermology, "there really are no good studies on that," she tells WebMD. "Most studies have been done by the company and I've been able to find nothing that's an unbiased study. A lot of people report liking it, but I personally don't believe that it works."

Unfortunately, the best thing, she says, is diet and exercise. "It does help get rid of cellulite. Fat cells shrink in size ... and it does help prevent cellulite. Part of the problem is decreased muscle tone allows the fat to protrude. But with increased muscle tone, you can hide it a little bit."

Donald Robertson, MD, tells WebMD that "diet can play a part in modifying cellulite, as does regular exercise. One thing that can be most effective is drinking water. ... Water is one of the body's ways of helping body to [break down] fat." Robertson is medical director of the Southwest Bariatric Nutrition Center in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Cellasene is an herbal drink touted as the world's first cellulite reduction product, designed to "increase blood circulation, reduce fluid buildup, stimulate metabolism, and reduce localized fats," says its marketing materials. Robertson says that only two small studies (both done by Cellasene's manufacturer) show significant decreases in measurements of hip, thigh, and ankle. "The problem is, there is no long-term study to see if it comes back."

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