The Bottom Line on Banishing Cellulite

Here's the bottom line, and it isn't pretty.

Doctors say that more than 80 percent of women have cellulite, those dimpled pockets of fat that most often accumulate in the thighs, buttocks and hips.

Doctors believe cellulite may be nature's way of ensuring women have enough stored energy to bear children, which may explain why even thin women or those who work out religiously still may have it.

Biological imperative or not, most women can't stand the sight of cellulite. American women spend billions of dollars a year on slimming and cellulite-fighting products and procedures.

Click here for ABCNews.com's new and improved BEAUTY & FASHION section.

Shop Etc. magazine's beauty director Amy Keller gave "Good Morning America" the lowdown on some of the many creams, injectibles, spa wraps, suction therapy, and even "butticals" -- that's a facial for the fanny -- that say they fight cellulite:

Creams

Many rub-on creams contain caffeine, which experts say can constrict blood vessels and draw moisture out the skin, resulting in a temporary tightening effect.

They can take a few months to work, but they're the cheapest option.

Bliss Fatgirl Slim Cream, costs $25.

Avon Super Shape Cream, costs $16.50.

Suction Slimmers -- Endermologie

Mechanical massage devices consist of a vacuum hose and two rollers, which lift and knead the skin. Like any other deep massage, the treatment can be somewhat painful, depending on the level of suction.

For maximum effectiveness, about 14 treatments are recommended over a seven-week period, followed by monthly maintenance visits. Without follow-up, cellulite reappears after one month or two months.

The cost, which can be more than $100 per session, isn't covered by insurance.

Endermologie came to the United States from France more than a decade ago and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Endermologie makes the skin appear smoother possibly by stimulating blood flow and lymphatic drainage or by thickening collagen, though no one can say for sure.

Critics, like the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, say it is of "unproven medical value."

It is most likely to work if you are under 55 and no more than 20 percent over your ideal body weight.

Wellbox, $1,595 -- The at-home version. Dermatologists say the at-home version is almost as effective as salon treatments, but you have to keep up the maintenance. It is expensive but FDA approved, and you'll get better results than with creams.

Spa treatment, $100 to $125 per session -- Need eight to 10 sessions to start then monthly maintenance.

Medi-Sculpt Machine, $150 per thigh per session -- This is an even newer suction treatment that hasn't been approved yet. Supposed to stimulate fat-burning by breaking up the connective tissues.

Wraps

Use ingredients like seaweed extracts that penetrate more thoroughly because of the spa wrap's warmth and compression.

Experts say you'll lose, but it's water, not fat, and the effects only last until you're hydrated again.

Recommend for the quick fix. You'll lose about an inch of water, but it only works for a few hours. Seaweed is diuretic, so muds and seaweeds will have similar effects.

Ahava Pure Mud costs $25.

Aquatanica Marine Mineral Body Wrap costs $22.50.

Shock Treatments

Developed in 1979, Ionithermie, or shock treatment, combines thermal clay and biologically active ingredients on the skin with electrical stimuli on the skin.

Physical therapists use it to boost muscle tone, but there are no long-term studies yet on the effectiveness of cellulite, so Keller cannot recommend.

Shock treatments cost about $150 per session.

Injections

Restylane injections are FDA approved for use on the face.

Some doctors are using them off-label to plump out cellulite on the buttocks and thighs.

This works for deep dimples, is very painful, costly and only works for a few months.

Restylane injections cost $500 to $1,000 and up.

Diet and Exercise

The cheapest and time-tested solution. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Jumping rope is the best total body workout and burns 1,000 calories an hour.

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