More than 90 percent of women have cellulite, even thin women, and getting rid of it can be a challenge. Now, there's a hot new treatment that you don't have to go to the doctor's office to get to tighten up those trouble spots.
Cosmetic skin consultant Amy Lavis says women can develop cellulite at an early age. The saggy skin often comes as a result of having a baby, losing a lot of weight or as we get older.
"We stop producing collagen and the collagen that we have starts to fall and degrade," Lavis says.
Now the FDA has approved a procedure that's non-invasive and painless with no swelling, no bruising, no downtime. It targets the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, backs of arms or even tops of knees. It's called Pellefirm, and it not only tightens the skin, it reduces cellulite.
"What Pellefirm does is it heats the deep tissue of the skin in the dermis, right below the dermis into the reticular layer," says Lavis. "And the body responds by rebuilding new collagen and by re-forming the elastin which gives our skin tensile strength."
The hand piece uses radio frequency energy to heat the tissue and massage the targeted area.
Lavis says, "What happens is you end up with improved texture and lessening of the deep wrinkles."
Because RF machines are considered safer and have limited regulation, it doesn't require the supervision of a physician.
"So that really opens the door for a lot of women who don't really want to go to a doctor's office just for this," says Skip Bageley, owner of Salon Senoj.
At the Old Metairie salon and spa, one client says she chose the procedure because her stomach never bounced back after childbirth. She says surgery was not an option.
With Pellefirm, Lavis says you will see a difference right away, but she the results are slow and steady.
"This is a very subtle, mild result," Lavis says. "Unlike the face, with the body, it's a time driven procedure. Your results will continue to improve at 30, 60, 90, 120, up to 180 days."
In 180 days, fitness experts say you can get similar results, but you have to work at it.
"There's no magic pill, no magic pill, no magic formula. I've had people end up in here that have had plastic surgery, gastric bypass, liposuctions and they still end up in the gym," says Jason Butler with Sculpt Fitness of Slidell.
The personal trainer says there are a few exercises, that done consistently over time, will also reduce cellulite.
"I'd say bar none, the best exercise you can do for your thighs is going to be the squat," Butler says.
He also suggests lunges with a back kick and step-ups, alternating legs.
Tiffany Clade is 31 years old and clearly in shape, but says she's been fighting stubborn cellulite on her legs for years.
"It's a very small thin layer now and as I'm tightening my muscles and my skin, that cellulite is getting smaller and smaller on the backs on my legs, but yes, I struggle with it," Clade says.
Aside from regular exercise, Butler says there are other things you can do throughout the course of your day to reduce cellulite.
He says don't cross your legs while sitting. It decreases circulation. Also, regularly massage the affected area and elevate your feet about six inches when resting.
Don't smoke. Experts say it reduces blood flow and disrupts the formation of collagen.
And stay hydrated. Drink at least a half gallon of water a day to help with your skin's elasticity.
If you do opt for the easier fix and have the time and money, Pellefirm is recommended for people ages 35 to 60 who just need a little help to tighten up the jiggle.
Lavis says, "It's not going to replace surgery if the patient is a candidate for surgery. But those small stubborn areas that are difficult to tighten, like the backs of arms, elbows, knees. It's ideal for those areas."
It's recommended you get at least three treatments, followed by maintenance treatments every so often.
One treatment will cost you anywhere from $150 to $600 depending on how large an area is being treated.