Cellulite. Ugh. Just the word is enough to make most women shudder. Whether it’s on your thighs, rear, arms, or abdomen, cellulite is sometimes unavoidable and often hard to get rid of.
Fortunately in today’s constantly evolving cosmetic procedure industry, it’s not all bad news when it comes to stubborn cellulite. The FDA has approved several devices that all take a similar approach to the battle of the demonic dimples. So similar in fact, it can be hard to keep them straight. Endermologie, Velashape, and SmoothShapes all use mechanical rollers to deeply massage the cellulite-affected tissue while simultaneously providing strong suction to the skin. From there, the differences are a little more subtle. Let’s take a look.
Best known as Kim Kardashian‘s treatment of choice for cellulite, Velashape uses rollers and suction to massage the deeper layers of skin and fat just like Endermologie. But Velashape also makes use of radiofrequency energy and infrared light to treat the problem.
Adding light and energy to the process allows the fat to be gently heated, causing it to break up and release much faster than simple mechanical adjustments alone. Therefore, Velashape’s treatment cycle is much shorter – 4 to 6 weekly treatments followed by monthly maintenance sessions.
Endermologie is often thought to refer to a generic procedure, similar to the words “facial” or “massage,” but it is actually a patented and trademarked technology owned by a company called LPG. The grandmother of all that followed, Endermologie was first introduced in the 1980s. Originally intended as a treatment for burn scars, patients and doctors noticed that in addition to treating the scar, the device was reducing cellulite.
Endermologie uses two adjustable rollers to symmetrically fold the skin again and again while providing controlled suction. This stretching along with the kneading and massage of the deeper tissues, causes the fat deposits to release their hold on the skin. It also increases blood flow, lymphatic drainage and collagen production.
Endermologie is whole-body treatment and not simply done on “problem areas” alone. This is because subcutaneous fat is what is targeted. This deeper layer is resistant to diet and exercise and even liposuction. Endermologie must treat the entire surface of the skin to improve the appearance of the problem areas. Lymphatic drainage, elasticity and collagen production affect the skin as a whole, and not just areas of cellulite.
The treatment cycle usually involves two sessions per week for 4-6 weeks followed by 6-8 weeks of 1 session, and finally, once monthly sessions for maintenance. A minimum of 14 treatments are needed for optimal results, with full results showing at 20-26 treatments. Each session lasts approximately 30 minutes.
Endermologie is non-invasive, and there is no downtime. Patients do report some discomfort from the rollers, with pain decreasing with each treatment cycle.
The newest member to the cellulite roller and vacuum club is SmoothShapes. What sets it apart is its use of two different lasers during treatment. The first laser delivers energy to the subcutaneous fat cells to increase their permeability, while the other melts the lipids inside the fat cells. The massage from the rollers along with the suction then helps to eliminated the liquified lipids by speeding up lymphatic drainage.
Eight, 50-minute sessions is the recommended protocol. But unlike Endermologie and Velashape, maintenance sessions are not needed until 4-8 months after the completion of your initial treatment cycle.
Now that you understand the differences between the big three names in cellulite reduction, you’ll be armed and ready to fight the good fight against “hail damage.” However, you must be willing to be in the trenches for the long haul. Endermologie, Velashape and SmoothShapes will all reduce cellulite only temporarily. No permanent solution exists – yet.
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