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New EPAT Treatment for Cellulite

Topical Agents - The Cellulite Institute and Clinic - Seattle

There are many topical treatments for cellulite available on the market, including creams, lotions, and gels. The objective of topical treatments is to encourage lipolysis, which is the decrease in size of fat cells; to encourage collagen and elastin production to thicken the skin and improve skin tone; and to improve local circulation and lymphatic drainage and decrease local inflammation.

Some of the chemical components used in topical treatments are well studied. Methylxanthines, such as caffeine, aminophylline and theophylline in the chemical form or in the form of botanicals such as coffee, tea, and cacoa, have been shown to stimulate lipolysis, the shrinkage of fat cells. The action of methylxanthines is thought to stimulate lipolysis by increasing the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) concentration in fat cells. Another well studied chemical used in cellulite topical treatments is retinoids, such as retinol. The action of retinoids is to increase skin thickness and increase local blood flow. In addition to these two well studied chemical groups, many botanicals are said to have various beneficial effects. However, there are few well designed scientific studies to substantiate the claims of these botanicals.

It would be useful to tabulate the effects claimed by each of the topical ingredients or botanicals to gain a global view of some of the cellulite treatment products.

Chemical/Botanical*

Effects

 

Improve Skin

Lipolysis

Improve Circulation

Decrease Inflammation & Edema

Methylxanthines

 

X

 

 

Retinols

X

 

X

 

Phosphatidylcholine

 

X

 

 

Centella Asiatic

 

X

X

 

Sillicium

 

X

X

 

Bladderwrack

X

 

X

 

Butcher’s Broom

 

 

X

X

Ginkgo

 

 

X

X

Chofitol or Artichoke

 

 

 

X

Common Ivy or Ground Ivy

 

 

X

X

Indian or Horse Chestnut

 

 

X

X

Sweet Clover

 

 

X

X

Red Grapes

 

 

X

X

Yohimbe

 

X

 

 

Papaya & Pineapple

 

 

 

X

* Source: “Botanical Extracts Used in the Treatment of Cellulite.” D. Hexsel, et. al., Dermatologic Surgery. 2005: 31: 866-872.