Everybody in Texas knows what damage a hailstorm can do to your roof, but I get lots of questions from my patients about how the hail damage got in their thighs!

Cellulite- the name sounds like a frightening medical condition…but it is really nothing more than normal fat beneath the skin. The fat appears bumpy or like divots because it pushes against connective tissue, causing the skin above it to pucker. It is not a function of being overweight, even thin women have it, especially on hips, buttocks and thighs. Cellulite is more common in women than men and seems to have a genetic tendency. There are several factors that can contribute to how much the cellulite lumps show like: the color of your skin (more visible on lighter skin), poor diet, hormonal changes and a low activity level.

Well, those are the few facts we know about cellulite…but what you really want to ask me is, “how do I get rid of this hail damage on my thighs”?

Well, you may not like my answer but it is an honest one.

If you have a drawer full of creams, seaweed wraps and lotions that promise to treat your cellulite by melting the fat or smoothing out the lumps on your thighs and buttocks…just go ahead and throw all those away! Stop buying them and realize it is time to change the way you think about this problem. These lotions have “some merit” in that they can hydrate your skin, causing very temporary swelling, making it appear better for about a day or two.

It is important to begin to approach cellulite with the mindset of, ”how can I improve the appearance”, rather than “how can I get rid of it”.

Currently, there is NO permanent treatment for cellulite. At best medicine can offer a long-term reduction in the appearance of cellulite, but it is not a condition that is going to go away forever. Many patients ask me if Liposuction will remove their cellulite. Liposuction is designed to surgically remove the deep layer of fat; cellulite is just under the skin surface and not treatable with liposuction. There are, however, several medical options to combat the appearance of cellulite that actually do work.

Here is a non-invasive procedure I can endorse, since I have used this technology since 1995 and it is FDA approved. Endermologie is a treatment performed by a professional using CELLU M6 and MOBILIFT M6 devices.

Equipped with rollers and suction, the treatment heads gently grasp the skin tissue and target different areas of the body and face using the non-invasive MÉCANO-STIMULATION technique. In other words it stretches & relaxes the septa (connective tissue) between the fat pockets reducing the lumpy appearance. This treatment is done as a series of about 12 sessions lasting 30-45 each. These can be done on a lunch hour with no anesthesia and no down time. The results last as long as you continue to do a maintenance treatment each 6-8 weeks.

Other invasive options have similarities in that they try to cut the septa (connective tissue) to reduce the appearance of cellulite. These include: Cellfina (mechanically cutting), Cellulaze (laser) and Velashape (radio frequency devises). These have some down time and may require anesthesia. Even though the “hail damage” appearance of cellulite cannot be cured, it can be managed and costs less than a new roof.