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New device may cure cellulite, acne, heart disease: study

http://www.100md.com   2006-4-11 xinhuanet
     BEIJING, April 11 (Xinhuanet) -- A free-electron laser (FEL) could make cellulite, acne and even heart disease disappear, through targeting and melting fat under the skin, Professor Rox Anderson, a dermatologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, said lately.

    Cellulite is the deposition of excess fat in the deeper layers of skin and the superficial layers of subcutaneous tissue. There is no esay remedy, other than weight loss. But cellulite cannot be easily reduced and gotten rid of by living a healthy lifestyle.

    In America, more than half of people suffer overweight. It may be so socially crippling that in severe cases it not only blights emerging social and sex lives but is also a not uncommon factor in depression and suicide, not mentioning the various diseases that it causes.

    Anderson who led the development of the FEL presented the results at the annual meeting of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Society.

    The device is able to heat up fat in the body without harming the skin above it. The heated fat is then broken down and excreted by the body.

    He said that he tested it on pig fat and skin samples about 2 inch thick, which showed selective photothermolysis - heating tissues with light - could have medical applications in the future, including treating acne.

    The root cause of acne is the lipid-rich sebaceous glands, which sit a few millimetres blow the surface of the skin.

    He said: "We want to be able to selectively target sebaceous glands and this research shows that we may be able to do that."

    If FEl proves effective, and as yet the laser has not undergone clinical trials in human beings, its most likely assured market would seem to be acne.

    The third suggested use of the FEL would be for its adaptation so that it might destroy atheromotous plaques in arteries. This has been done before with other means but problems have arisen with distribution of debris when the plaques have been eradicated.

    Anderson said, "we are still a few years away from testing this technique on human beings." Enditem


    Editor: Han Lin