Cellulite fighting devices have no cellulite reduction effects beyond draining users' checking accounts or jacking up their credit cards. This is the strong opinion of skeptics and medical experts. And their viewpoint carries substantial evidence. They also point to the fact that specific anti-cellulite exercises are the only proven way to banish cellulite.
This viewpoint continues to gain support, even though the desperate market for cellulite fighting products an services is expected to grow to over 200 million dollars a year by 2012.
In most of their summary references - these experts do allude to the fact that the only way to reduce or prevent the appearance of cellulite is through a properly structured and targeted exercise routine.
Even though the FDA has technically approved several dozen types of anti-cellulite gadgets, it only judges them on whether they provide short-term changes in appearance. Approvals are not based on actual, structural, long lasting reductions in cellulite.
"We don't have any third party research data or official proof about how long the reduction effect lasts," claims an FDA spokes-person referenced in the well known, Wall Street Journal in a feature article: "The Latest Cellulite Treatments Sound Too Smooth to Be True." After reading this article - it's hard to believe how many women still buy into these devices and gimmicks.
CST (Cosmetic Surgery Today) details the primary paradox in this industry of desperation, empty promises and big money:
Most of the anti-cellulite treatment plans require the woman to commit a series of cellulite reduction treatments in order to see any substantial changes. For example a series of about ten visits is the typical, 'initial' treatment plan, and women are 'advised' to maintain a sensible diet and healthy lifestyle throughout the cellulite treatment process.
Skeptics and critics of these beauty-spa/cosmetic procedures highlight that most treatments, at best, may only offer short term improvements, and that most are simply 'jazzed-up' massage sessions that only reduce the ripples & dimples, and the appearance of cellulite on a temporary basis - with no lasting improvements.
They also mention that those women who may have experienced improvements could have done so with properly targeted exercise alone.
But despite all the evidence of doubt, supporters (mainly the companies that sell them) of cellulite treatments state that these non-invasive cellulite treatment procedures are a viable way to drop a few inches, tighten loose skin and see changes within 3 - 4 months.
"None of these things has been shown in any definitive, objective way to offer improvement for cellulite areas," states Bob Weiss of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. "If there was proof - women would be going crazy - and the undeniable proof would be all over the news and talk shows. There would be no debate."
Cellulite device manufacturers stand behind their treatments' effectiveness, however many women have been deeply disappointed. In reader surveys about a few anti-cellulite devices, just a small fraction of women said "Yes" to the straight question "Was the money you spent worth it?"...
- Vela-Shape, 10%
- Thermage, 34% (Thermage is a supposed skin 'tightening' device, but the company has recently included an anti-cellulite attachment - like on a vacuum cleaner.)
Other cellulite treatment machine were not officially rated: Smooth-Shapes from Elemé Medical Co., Velasmooth, the most recent edition of the 'VelaShape' from Syneron, The 'Dermosonic' by Sybaritic, and 'Endermologie' from L.P.G. Systems out of France.
Dermatologist Ava Chambon M.D. of Santa Monica, is very skeptical about what supposed cellulite removal treatments can offer. She states the claims of "This device will get rid of cellulite..." is one of the world's top lies (costing women millions and millions every year), very close behind "I'll call you in the morning, I promise."
A more objective viewpoint is offered by Christopher Zachary M.D., chairman of the Dept. of Dermatology at U.C.I. He claims the dimply fat that frustrates so many women is just a secondary sex characteristic like breasts and wide hips that can only be improved with exercises that enhance the structure of the underlying muscles, beneath the skin that shows the cellulite bumps.