While diet and exercise can help bring you closer to your ideal figure, it can be challenging getting rid of cellulite, stubborn fat deposits, and loose skin. That's where non-invasive body contouring procedures can help. Since there are more than a dozen body contouring procedures available that use diverse technologies, deciding which body contouring procedure to get isn't easy.
How to Find the Right Treatment for You
Not all procedures are right for every issue. "Body contouring" is an umbrella term; most dermatologists tend to lump cellulite treatments, skin tightening, fat reduction, and muscle tightening all into that term. The majority of body contouring procedures take at least six weeks to show changes with one or more sessions, and patients tend to achieve full results in two-to-three months.
The most popular body contouring procedures include CoolSculpting, Thermage, and VelaShape. CoolSculpting is a temperature-based fat-reduction treatment that uses controlled cooling to permanently freeze fat cells that are resistant to diet and exercise. Thermage, on the other hand, is a skin-tightening treatment that helps build collagen deep within the dermis, resulting in tighter, firmer skin. VelaShape targets cellulite and reduces thigh and abdominal circumferences, using a combination of four different technologies.
CoolSculpting: Blast Away Stubborn Fat Deposits
CoolSculpting is ideal for those that have stubborn fat deposits. It uses controlled cooling to sculpt challenging areas, achieving the same results as liposuction but without the associated risks and downtime. Since fat freezes at a higher temperature than surrounding tissue, CoolSculpting's technology crystallizes fat cells. The fat cells die, and your body eliminates them over time. The fat cells treated are gone forever, and cells from untreated areas won't migrate in to replace them.
You're a good candidate for CoolSculpting if you eat a healthy diet and exercise. As long as you have pinchable subcutaneous fat, you'll be able to get rid of it. You'll achieve significant results in anywhere from three weeks to two months. For four-to-six months after your treatment, your body will continue to flush fat cells.
Thermage: Tighten Loose, Sagging Skin
If you've recently lost a significant amount of weight or just had a baby, then Thermage might be right for you. This is because Thermage tightens loose skin anywhere on the body after only a single treatment. Plus, you can undergo a Thermage treatment almost anywhere on your body, including underarms, thighs, knees, chest, stomach, and buttocks.
Thermage works by transferring heat to the epidermis, encouraging collagen production and tightening existing collagen. Most experience dramatic tightening and smoothing of the skin in the months following treatment as collagen slowly starts to regrow and remodel. Only one treatment is needed to achieve significant results, and those results tend to last up to ten years.
Velashape: Say Goodbye to Unsightly Cellulite
Velashape is ideal for improving the appearance of cellulite and slimming down the thighs, waist, and hips. It uses infrared light and radiofrequency to stimulate fat cell metabolism, reducing the number and size of fat cells. VelaShape also utilizes vacuum suction technology to stretch fibrous bands in the epidermis, reducing cellulite. It's mechanical rollers gently knead the treatment site, increasing circulation, encouraging lymphatic drainage, and expelling harmful fat cell byproducts and toxins. This leads to a significant reduction in the appearance of cellulite, circumferential reduction, as well as smoother, firmer skin.
VelaShape results in an average of half an inch to three inches of circumferential reduction in treated areas after a series of four treatments, and a decrease in cellulite by over 60%.
When Should You Opt for Liposuction?
Most body contouring procedures are most effective on people within 10 pounds of their goal weight, and they shouldn't be used as a weight-loss method. If you want to eliminate substantial amounts of fat, liposuction still reigns supreme. But, be prepared to pencil in recovery time for several weeks. You'll also face a higher risk of complications.