In South Africa, summer is all about sun, sand and swimming costumes. Sadly, it also signals a time when many women become most aware of their cellulite – that unsightly ‘orange peel’ skin – that has even the thinnest, shapely women reaching for their floor-length sarongs.
But it needn’t be that way, says Dr Natela Rekhviashvili, co-founder of Johannesburg-based aesthetic centre Radiance for You, because now South African women have access to VelaShape – the world’s only non-invasive, FDA-approved medical instrument that has proven results in cellulite reduction, circumference reduction and skin tightening.
“VelaShape made its name in Hollywood, endorsed by the gorgeous Kim Kardashian, but it is now used by hundreds of thousands of American women. And the good news is that this incredible technology is now here in South Africa and we are already seeing amazing results on our clients,” says Rekhviashvili.
Rekhviashvili explains that women are naturally predisposed towards getting cellulite due to the structure of their subcutaneous (i.e. underlying) fat tissue. According to recent statistics, over 90% of women over the age of 18 have cellulite to some degree or other.
“Unfortunately, cellulite gets worse when we put on weight, and also as we age, due to hormonal changes, increased water retention, poor circulation, decrease in metabolic rates and the loss of skin elasticity. But the good news is that we can help.”
“Just as modern medicine has found a way to reduce the impact of fine lines and wrinkles on our faces, so too has modern technology found a way to lessen the impact of cellulite on our bodies. While we might not be able to eliminate it entirely, we can improve it immensely.”
VelaShape is the world’s only FDA-approved system for the treatment of cellulite, resulting in a reduction in cellulite appearance and also a decrease in the circumference of the treated area. VelaShape is currently the world’s most in-demand medical device for treating cellulite, body contouring, circumference reduction, and skin tightening, in regular use by over 10 000 women all over the world.
“Most importantly, it is safe and non-invasive – there is absolutely no surgery involved,” says Rekhviashvili. “Most patients find the treatment therapeutic, although it can take some getting used to. It’s like a deep tissue massage with heat.”
VelaShape combines four different technologies for maximum impact: vacuum suction, mechanical massage with rollers, heat therapy via infrared light and bipolar radio frequency. Together, these technologies function to improve blood circulation and hence increase oxygen supply to the fat cells.
This triggers an increase in metabolic rates in subcutaneous fat tissue and causes lipolysis – a natural process of breaking down the fat and reducing fat deposits without destroying the fat cells. Vacuum suction and massaging with rollers also improve lymph drainage, which helps to eliminate toxins and decrease water retention in the fat tissue. The heat component of the VelaShape treatment provided by infra red light and radio frequency in addition induces synthesis of new collagen and thus results in skin tightening.
The skin tightening effect of the VelaShape technology contributes largely to achieving a smooth look of the skin and acquiring better body contour. Rekhviashvili says that many women also fight an ongoing battle against loose skin and stretch marks, particularly those who have either recently given birth or alternatively lost a lot of weight in a short period of time. We have seen a significant improvement in the appearance of even very old stretch marks and visible lifting of the sagging skin (especially on stomachs, buttocks and around the knees) during the course of VelaShape treatment. It has been shown that VelaShape procedures performed prior to liposuction may improve the outcome of this surgical method by softening the fat tissue. It is also widely used post surgery to smooth out lumps and bumps often acquired as a result of liposuction.
“Basically, you lose centimeters and your skin becomes noticeably smoother,” says Rekhviashvili. Clinical studies have shown up to 2.5 cm loss in circumference post treatment. But Rekhviashvili emphasises that VelaShape should not be used as a ‘quick fix’ as it produces the best results when used regularly. “Like all good things in life, VelaShape takes time to produce the best results. If you want a great bikini body by next summer, you should start treatments at least two months in advance.”
The minimum suggested course is six treatments, once a week to start, followed by one or two a month for a period of time and then less regularly, depending on each persons severity of cellulite and lifestyle. Since cellulite is a multi factorial phenomenon we also promote a holistic approach to treating it by recommending to our clients to keep up with regular exercise, a healthy diet and stress management.
‘Then you can look as good out of your jeans as you look in them,” says Rekhviashvili.
[toggle title=”The Skinny On Cellulite” load=”hide”]
Cellulite is normal fat that lies beneath the skin, which more commonly manifests in women than in men due to the different ways in which fat is stored in our bodies.
In females, predisposition to the dimpled, “orange peel” like skin is caused by the specific histological structure of the fat tissue localised under the skin – subcutaneous fat. Clusters of the fat cells are separated by the vertical and horizontal connective tissue septae (divisions) and form fat chambers. Fat chambers expand and protrude through the skin with weight gain and/or retention of extracellular fluid (swelling) thus causing the dimpled appearance. In males, protrusion of the fat through the skin is restricted by the criss-cross orientation of the tissue septae that defines the fat chambers better and holds them tighter.
In addition, the development of this cosmetic phenomenon is influenced by multiple factors like hormonal imbalances, lack of exercise, ageing, skin laxity, weight gain, genetic predisposition and unhealthy diet. There is a broad classification of different kinds of cellulite based on the factors that are causing it and mechanisms of development, but they all have similar exterior cosmetic manifestation of “an orange peel” skin. Considering that so many factors, including inherited anatomical and physiological predisposition, contribute to the development of cellulite it is impossible to eliminate it completely. However, combination approaches based on a healthy life style and regular localised treatments of the subcutaneous fat tissue, such as with VelaShape treatment, can visibly improve cellulite and maintain it long term.
[toggle title=”What is VelaShape?” load=”hide”]A safe, non-surgical, non-invasive medical instrument that has been CE marked and FDA-approved for the treatment of cellulite, body contouring and circumference reduction, and skin tightening.
During the VelaShape treatment the applicator of this instrument comes in direct contact with the skin and treats the underlying fat tissue by the simultaneous action of vacuum suction, mechanical massage with rollers and heat (provided by infra red light and radio frequency). This combined action of four modalities improves blood circulation and lymph drainage in the fat tissue, which results in an increased metabolism and breakdown of fat in fat cells (lipolysis).
Lipolysis also naturally takes place during dieting and exercise. Breakdown of fat and an increased drainage of lymph shrink fat cells and fat chambers and thus reduce protrusions of fat through the skin. Smoother skin and centimetre loss in the treated area take place. The heat component of VelaShape treatment additionally induces synthesis of new collagen in the skin and provides a long term rejuvenating effect.
VelaShape can be used on the back (bra line), love handles, arms, stomach, buttocks and upper thighs, as well as the neck (double chin) and lower jowl line to improve facial contours.
Results are visible sometimes as early as during the first session, but it is recommended that patients begin with the minimum course package of six sessions, once a week for six weeks.
For more information about VelaShape or to speak to the doctor, contact the press office on:
Tel: 011 280 6679