With summer fast approaching, many women are looking to fit into swimsuits and head to the beach. But before they feel “beach-ready,” many women will seek treatment for the dimpled skin on their thighs, stomachs, and other parts of the body.
That bumpy layer of fat, known as cellulite, affects around 98% of women. There are a number of cellulite reduction treatments available to the public, and one recently approved by the FDA is promising a permanent solution to the problem.
“Cellfina,” which was developed in Massachusetts, promises to eliminate cellulite for good, and according to one woman who was involved in a clinical trial several years ago, it works.
Paolo Pacella of Dedham, MA, was self-conscious about the skin on her buttocks and backs of her thighs. But after taking part in the FDA clinical trial years ago, she tells CBS Boston that the treated skin is still perfectly smooth after using Cellfina.
Dr. Michael Kaminer, a dermatologist from Chestnut Hill, was on the team that developed Cellfina. He explained how Cellfina, which is just now being offered to the public, works.
“Think of cellulite like a mattress and you have those little buttons that hold down little parts of the mattress. That is what a cellulite dimple is,” said Dr. Kaminer. “We needed to eliminate the buttons and it turns out they are caused by little fiber strands underneath the skin, and we simply release those.”
The two-part treatment first uses a special syringe to disperse lidocaine through multiple pinholes, which numbs the area.
Then the Cellfina tool is inserted under the dimple to cut the strands of collagen that have been pulling the skin down and forming the dimple. Nothing needs to be extracted from the body, and the skin becomes smooth on its own.
The first treatment was done five years ago, said Dr. Kaminer, which then led to the clinical trial and FDA clearance. The study found that “94% of patients one year out were satisfied with the results, and 99% of patients had a measurable improvement,” said Dr. Kaminer.
There are plenty of creams, serums, and other treatments out there that promise to eliminate cellulite, but very few have the success rate of Cellfina. Even DIY treatments exist, such as one that recommends exfoliating using brewed coffee grounds and brown sugar.
The ideal candidate for Cellfina would be someone not too far from their ideal body weight, with only around 15 to 20 dimples along the buttocks and/or outer thigh.
The treatment costs between $3,000 to $4,000 and can be done in just one visit. The side effects are minimal, just some soreness that can be treated with a regular pain killer.