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A New Look at Cellulite, Part 1

Peter T. Pugliese, MD July 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
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It is a well-known adage in medicine that if you have more than one treatment for a disease, you do not have the right treatment. Most medical treatments are based on a knowledge of the nature of the disease being treated. When the cause and course of the disease are well known, a specific treatment is then either developed, or research workers try to find the correct one. As an example, a bacterial infection requires a specific antibacterial agent, and diabetes mellitus requires insulin and dietary control.

Cellulite, however, is a very misunderstood disease—in fact, to a large measure, it is not understood at all. Since no one dies from cellulite, there is no political impetus to fund research about it. Somehow, the untold misery and unhappiness of millions of women does not seem to be motive enough for serious research into cellulite.

Before the most probable cause is examined, this article will explore the current concepts and look at some of the treatments offered. Conventional wisdom suggests that cellulite is a disease of the fatty tissue, and is due to lack of exercise and a poor diet. Most so-called beauty magazines advocate exercise and diet as the only effective treatment. Unfortunately, any woman who has tried these modalities realizes they are next to worthless in regard to cellulite.

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Pugliese Figure 1

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Pugliese Figure 3: The Normal Menstrual Cycle

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Pugliese Figure 4: Thighs

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