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Cellulite: Can You Smooth Those Lumps And Bumps Before Swimsuit Season?

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As the weather warms up and you think about heading to the beach or poolside, the thought of revealing the cellulite that's been hidden beneath your cold-weather clothes can cast a dark shadow over your otherwise sunny dreams. Wearing an on-trend mermaid bathing suits that cover your trouble spots from hip to toe is one way to solve that problem, but as awesome as mermaid tails are, there are going to be days you want to let more skin show. Is there help for cellulite?

Cellulite is common in women and adolescent girls. It's the term for flesh that appears dimpled and lumpy like on orange peel or cottage cheese. It's not a cause for concern medically, but it can make you feel self-conscious about your appearance. There's an almost endless supply of cellulite products and treatments on the market that promises amazing results, but most of those items don't deliver on their claims.

That said, there are things you can do to slightly improve the appearance of cellulite.

Diet and Exercise

This tip probably won't come as a surprise, but weight loss through diet and exercise can improve the appearance of cellulite. Strengthening the muscles in cellulite-afflicted areas like the legs or arms can give the overlying skin a smoother appearance.

Lasers and Radio Frequency

Cellulite treatments that use lasers and radio frequency have shown promising results. Some systems combine massage with infrared light and radio-frequency technology; others use tissue massage and diode lasers. While these methods do improve cellulite, the results are temporary and only last six months.

Retinol Creams

Applying a 0.3 percent retinol cream has been demonstrated to improve the look of cellulite. The cream has to be applied twice a day for six months to achieve results.

Other Methods

According to the Mayo Clinic, most of the popularly touted methods for getting rid of cellulite don't do much at all. If you do see some improvement, that result is very temporary. For instance:

Cellulite massage. This type of treatment is based on the principle that intense massage of cellulite-prone areas of the body will increase circulation and encourage toxins and excess fluids to leave, thus reducing cellulite. However, the results of cellulite massage are short lived, perhaps due to a temporary swelling of the area after treatment.

 Cellulite creams.  With the exception of 0.3 percent retinol cream, creams and lotions that are advertised to contain ingredients that help reduce cellulite have never been scientifically demonstrated to offer any improvement.