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Use of intense pulsed light and a retinyl-based cream as a potential treatment for cellulite: a pilot study

Fink, Joshua S; Mermelstein, Harold; Thomas, Andrew; Trow, Robert
BACKGROUND: There are few therapeutic treatments established for cellulite. OBJECTIVE: We studied the response of intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment with or without a compounded prescription retinyl-based cream on a small group of patients who had visible cellulite present on the buttocks and thigh regions. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty patients were selected to complete a 12-week course of IPL treatment either with or without a retinyl-based cream. Assessment was based on visual evaluation, photographs, skin ultrasounds, and patient satisfaction. RESULTS: Fifteen (75%) completed the study, and nine (60%) had a self-improvement rating of >or= 50%. Seven (78%) of nine patients used IPL/cream. Of the remaining six (40%) completing the study, four (27%) had self-improvement ratings of 25-50% and two (13%; IPL only) were considered treatment failures with a rating of 10-25%. Both IPL/cream and IPL-only groups exhibited an improvement in the smoothness of the affected area even following weight gain. Skin ultrasounds confirmed an increase in the deposition of collagen. During an 8-month phone follow-up, 8 (67%) of 12 responding reported the same or improved results. CONCLUSION: IPL treatment with or without a retinyl-based cream can improve the appearance of peau d'orange cellulite, though the cream may augment cosmetic improvement. This approach is well tolerated, has minimal side effects, and is accompanied by a high degree of patient satisfaction
PMID: 17177749
ISSN: 1473-2165
CID: 95453