Individuals who maintain a healthy lifestyle can still struggle with stubborn fat and cellulite. This can have a detrimental effect on one’s self-esteem. While liposuction and tummy tuck procedures are highly effective, many people wish to avoid such invasive options. Fortunately, there are other forms of body sculpting and fat reduction procedures that don’t involve such risks—we guide you through the most popular options.
Cryolipolysis is a medical treatment that destroys fat cells by way of freezing them. The controlled cooling action of the technology—with a temperature range of 5C to -5C—targets localised fat deposits underneath the skin without damaging the upper layers of the epidermis. When the system is activated, patients tend to experience an intense cold sensation on the area being treated. Side effects can include redness, light bruising, tingling and numbness—although these should dissipate relatively quickly. The procedure itself is designed to shape and contour the body. Patients usually see results in a matter of months.
High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)
This non-invasive option applies high-intensity ultrasound to the chosen area to destroy fat cells on the surface layers of the skin. The technique works by raising the tissue temperature to 56C for one second, which subsequently induces the death of cells whilst sparing damage to vessels and nerves. This passive heating action encourages collagen production, which naturally firms and plumps the skin. Patients have been known to experience moderate to high levels of discomfort during the procedure. Many report feelings of heat, prickling and tingling of the skin. Common side effects include bruising, redness, tenderness and edema (swelling due to excessive fluids), but these should subside quickly. Results are usually noticeable after a single treatment.
Low-level laser light
This particular form of fat-busting treatment works by reducing the stability of certain cells, allowing them to release their stores of fat without being damaged. The fat is released into the extracellular space and remains there until it is eventually absorbed by the lymphatic system. This results in the reduction of fat cells, consequently making the areas of the body targeted thinner. The treatment itself is said to be painless, as it does not involve any heat or sensation-causing elements. Results are reportedly more prominent after several sessions. Cardio-based exercise is recommended after the procedure to promote lymph flow and to further the effects of the procedure.
Radio frequency (RF)
This body contouring method employs radio frequency (RF) to work on problem areas such as the abdomen and fat deposits on the hips—more affectionately known as ‘love handles’. The technology heats the skin and fat cells beneath to a temperature of 46C. This helps speed up the fat cells’ metabolic activity, causing them to shrink. The method is said to be effective in reducing cellulite and boosting the skin’s collagen levels. RF is most effective after a number of sessions—top-ups are recommended. Patients are advised to drink plenty of water and schedule a cardio-based exercise on the day of the procedure to encourage the body’s metabolism and aid lymphatic drainage. Side effects of RF are minimal, although mild redness, heat and skin tenderness may occur. F