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How do topical products work to treat cellulite?

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A variety of creams on the market claim to reduce cellulite. Many have ingredients intended to promote fat breakdown (caffeine, aminophylline, theophylline). Others contain vitamins, minerals, and herbal extracts. Generally, these products offer little benefit alone, but they may add some value when combined with other treatments. Some evidence suggests that retinol cream can help with cellulite, but the results aren’t great. Twice-daily application of a 0.3% retinol cream for six months can thicken your skin and reduce that orange-peel look.

From: Can You Beat Cellulite? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Cellulite Treatment.”

Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology : “Cryolipolysis for noninvasive body contouring: clinical efficacy and patient satisfaction.”

Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy : “Effects of cellulite treatment with RF, IR light, mechanical massage and suction treating one buttock with the contralateral as a control."

IDEA Fitness Journal : “Cellulite: A review of its anatomy, physiology and treatment.”

American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery: “Cellulite: An Update,” “Decrease your cellulite using the latest science.”

International Journal of Cosmetic Science : “Cellulite and its treatment.”

International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology: “Cellulite.”

Clinical Interventions in Aging: “Can cellulite be treated with low-energy extracorporeal shock wave therapy?”

KidsHealth: “Cellulite.”

International Journal of Dermatology : “Subcision: a treatment for cellulite.”

Medscape: “Cord-Cutting Technique Smooths Cellulite for 3 Years.”

International Journal of Cosmetic Science : “Cellulite and its treatment.”

American Journal of Clinical Dermatology : “A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of topical retinol in the treatment of cellulite.”

American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery: “Reality Vs Myth.”

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on May 15, 2019

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Cellulite Treatment.”

Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology : “Cryolipolysis for noninvasive body contouring: clinical efficacy and patient satisfaction.”

Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy : “Effects of cellulite treatment with RF, IR light, mechanical massage and suction treating one buttock with the contralateral as a control."

IDEA Fitness Journal : “Cellulite: A review of its anatomy, physiology and treatment.”

American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery: “Cellulite: An Update,” “Decrease your cellulite using the latest science.”

International Journal of Cosmetic Science : “Cellulite and its treatment.”

International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology: “Cellulite.”

Clinical Interventions in Aging: “Can cellulite be treated with low-energy extracorporeal shock wave therapy?”

KidsHealth: “Cellulite.”

International Journal of Dermatology : “Subcision: a treatment for cellulite.”

Medscape: “Cord-Cutting Technique Smooths Cellulite for 3 Years.”

International Journal of Cosmetic Science : “Cellulite and its treatment.”

American Journal of Clinical Dermatology : “A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of topical retinol in the treatment of cellulite.”

American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery: “Reality Vs Myth.”

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on May 15, 2019

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Which treatments for cellulite should you carefully consider or avoid?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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