Body Contouring Revisited

·4 min read

As the post-COVID summer approaches, reader questions around body contouring have begun piling in. So, expect an ‘uplift’ in stories around the butt and the thighs, pun intended. There is so much to talk about on this topic, so I have put together a little primer on what’s new and exciting right now. And as always, want me to cover something specific, email me so I can include your question in upcoming stories.

Body contouring is our most popular topic at Charlotte’s Book – you can visit it in our treatment resource. We have done a ton of stories covering this topic: we have dug deep into their efficacy with this story, we have guides on each treatment, and asked a ton of doctor Q&A.

No matter what is new and exciting, one thing always stays true is that it’s always about understanding what treatment is best for your body and specifically for what concern. What might be good for your thighs, might not be good for your belly or your arms. And there is a big difference between tightening, slimming, and fat reduction.

Dr. Bruce Katz of JUVA Skin and Laser Center explains that there are, “4 dimensions of body contouring including skin tightening, muscle toning, cellulite reduction and fat reduction.” Often it takes a combination of tools to address these factors. So, don’t expect a quick fix. I am guilty of it. We are all guilty of it. There is no silver bullet (sigh!) and it’s all about the right expectations and the right doctor.

Dr. Doris Day of her own namesake practice explains, “Body treatments can be complicated and sometimes unpredictable. Proper evaluation and patient selection is the most important and first step. I saw a patient today who wanted treatment but was not a good candidate and while it was disappointing for them to hear that it would not help them, at least it didn’t have them also waste time and money on a procedure that would not make enough of a difference to be worth doing.”

Options in this area continue to improve, but it’s just so important to see the right doctor who assesses what you need. Dr. Bruce Katz says, “Technologies have come a long way over the last few years that there are so many options for patients and they vary quite a bit based on the patients’ needs and qualifications. Really any part of the body that needs fat reduction or skin tightening can be treated.”

So what are people talking about in body sculpting these days?

QWO:

This is a new one that I am learning about. I will be trying out the treatment in May (stay tuned). It is the first injectable used to treat moderate to severe cellulite in the buttocks of adult women. It’s done in-office to break down the buildup of collagen in the fibrous band, which are bands under the skin that thicken and cause tension and the “dimpled” look of cellulite. Results can be seen in 10 weeks.

Emsculpt NEO

An in-office body-shaping procedure that uses radiofrequency waves and high-intensity electromagnetic energies to both reduce fat and build muscle. They are 30-minute sessions that can be done repeatedly over the course of weeks / months to shape and tone.

In the past, I have done Coolsculpting on my thighs and my belly. Did I see a difference? On my thighs, I don’t really think I did to be honest. I think I saw a difference when I did my belly. But I will admit, I suffer from the instant gratification syndrome and I only did one treatment, when in fact I probably should have done several to see more impactful results.

Dr. Bruce Katz says “I’ve seen it build more muscle and reduce more fat than any other technology.” I am excited to try out Emsculpt, I have heard really positive things.

Evoke & Evolve

Evoke is for the face, Evolve is for the body. Both are remodeling treatments that work to tighten the skin. Evoke uses bipolar radiofrequency to heat the dermis and subcutaneous tissue, which stimulates collagen and also targets some fat.

Sculpsure

Sculpsure and Coolsculpting and SmartLipo are all semi-competing technologies in that they all are used to reduce fat, but in different ways. We get a lot of questions on the differences between them. Smartlipo removes all the fat in any area of the body and tightens skin at the same time using a laser that goes into the body. The heat from the laser softens fat, which makes it easier to remove from the body. Coolsculpting is a non-invasive treatment that freezes fat cells, but really only removes modest amounts of fat.

Photo credit: Girls Just Want to Have Fun is a 1985 American romantic comedy dance film. It stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Lee Montgomery, Morgan Woodward, Jonathan Silverman, Shannen Doherty, and Helen Hunt.