Abby Stokes says cellulite has been her enemy for more than 20 years. She has tried exercise and diet, but it never works. Experts say don't waste your money on creams that claim they can reduce or get rid of cellulite. They can't penetrate the skin deep enough to make a real difference.
Stokes turned to some of the most popular treatments on the market that claim to take the curdle out of that cottage cheese.
"The reason why women have cellulite is that they have little boxes of fat that get hard over time under the surface of the skin, and when the boxes get hard, the fat pooches out," Dr. Jame Heskett of Wellpath Medical Spa told The Early Show correspondent Susan Koeppen.
A spa treatment called endermologie combats costs about $100 a session and uses a suction device to loosen up fat, and tighten the skin.
"It's very much like a massage except they're not hands; it's sort of a rolling sensation and a slight pulling sensation, it's very relaxing as far as I'm concerned," Stokes said.
Endermologie (www.endermologie1.com) requires more than a dozen sessions — plus monthly maintenance. Stokes saw results but wanted more. Now she's added carboxy-therapy where a doctor injects carbon dioxide into her cellulite.
"When it goes into the cellulite layer, it physically breaks up those boxes that hold the fat," Heskett said,
Carboxy-therapy (www.thewellpath.com) can cause temporary bruising but it offers quick results. The patient needs several sessions at a $150 a pop — plus monthly follow-ups. Stokes says the combination of treatments was worth it. Her thighs are smoother than they used to be.
"I feel more confident," Stokes said. "I feel like I'm taking care of myself, and it makes me happier with what I look like."
But a new device called the Accent (www.skinandlasers.com) was just approved by the FDA and may be the most promising in the fight against cellulite.
"What it does is it delivers a very deep heat, and that tightens the bands of collagen that are deeper in the skin, and that tightens the skin that overlies the cellulite," dermatologist Dr. David Goldberg said.
In a recent study, 90 percent of women who had the treatment saw an improvement. One of them was Roseann Catalano.
"This actually doesn't feel like much of anything, just a little bit of warmth in the area, you can kind of feel it rolling over your skin," she said.
The accent requires just six sessions but they are expensive at $750 a treatment. While the results are long-lasting, they are not permanent.
"Although we can treat cellulite, to suggest that we can cure it forever, not going to happen," Goldberg said.
If you opt for one of these treatments, make sure you do a lot of research and pick the doctor carefully. Make sure your doctor is certified in the procedure, especially for invasive treatments. In the meantime, women everywhere can take comfort in knowing even the most beautiful women in the world are not so beautiful everywhere.
"Oh, that's Cindy Crawford!" Stokes said looking at a tabloid. "It makes me feel immensely better!"