All it took was one saucy comment from her daughter, and Gayle Schultz realized something: sometimes your kids can be more truthful than a 3-way mirror.
“I came in from running one day and there’s my daughter. She looks at me, she says ‘Mom!’ You can’t wear those shorts anymore!’ I looked at her like she had 2 heads and then I looked down and said, ‘Oh my god. When did that happen?’”
That was cellulite, those dreaded, lumpy, cottage cheese like dimples despised by every woman. Just the word makes woman cringe. More than eighty-percent of us have it. All of us hate it.
Schultz thought she was in the clear: she exercises, eats healthy and avoids sugars.
But there it is anyway, overtaking the upper part of her legs. She says the cellulite made her so self-conscious, she changed her entire way of living.
“As fit as I may be, I go to the edge of the pool with a towel,” said Schultz. “I’d love to wear a nice sundress, but I won’t. I don’t feel comfortable. I stopped wearing short-shorts.”
So when Schultz heard of a new cosmetic procedure promising to blast away cellulite in a single treatment, she picked up the phone and called Dr. Cynthia Poulos.
Dr. Poulos is one of only a handful of doctors in the state performing Cellulaze, a new laser treatment, which for the first time, targets cellulite from under the skin.
“It’s a 3-fold problem,” Dr. Poulos explained. “It’s bumps, which are really bumps of fat. Dimples, which are the connective tissue layer that over time starts to draw in and give you that mattress pattern. And then the third aspect of it is the skin itself.”
For decades, everything from creams, to scrubs to those belted fat giggling machines have promised to smooth out your trouble areas. But they either didn’t work, or results didn’t last. But plastic surgeons, including Dr. Poulos, are calling this procedure revolutionary.
But it doesn’t come cheap. Treating an area the size of an 8x10 piece of paper will set you back almost $7,000.
Dr. Poulos starts the in-office procedure by blocking off the treatment area. She uses a green and red sharpie to mark the areas that need extra heat.
“It’s critical to get the areas that are sticking up because we treat them with a little bit more laser energy,” said Poulos.
Once the marks are made, Schultz is ushered into the operating room and given a local anesthetic. She’ll be awake during the treatment. Once numb, the laser is slipped under the skin. You can see the red laser tip through the skin.
“We treat this in segments. We’re going to be doing those mountains first,” said Poulos, as she jammed the long fiber under Schultz skin.
It’s a three-step process. First, the laser heats and melts fat that causes the bulges. You can hear the fat sizzling under the intense heat.
Then the laser severs the connective tissue that pulls the skin down, creating that dimpling effect. Lastly, the laser is aimed up towards the skin.
“That’s when we get the heating of the dermis and that allows the collagen to build up again and to make the irregular bumped up under surface of the skin get smooth and thicker,” said Dr. Poulos.
Dr. Poulos says it can take up to 6 months to see the final results.
But now, 2 months later, Schultz says she’s already noticing a difference.
“I see the rippling gone. The bumps are gone. It’s much smoother,” she said.
And she added with a smile, she’s already slipped back into a pair of short-shorts.