Tag: cellulite

Viagra for flaccid….fannies?

Posted in news by jenapincott on March 20, 2009

SPL31781_003Yesterday’s glimpse of springtime reminded me that bikini season is nigh, and with it the dread of cellulite thighs. Cellulite — likened to orange peels, cottage cheese, and pillow-top mattresses — is caused by stretched-out fat cells. Unable to hold their shape as they bulge out, these fatty deposits stipple the skin.

What to do?

Look for answers from the country that’s almost all coastline. Croatian doctor Karmela Altabas and her colleagues recently published a provocative hypothesis in my favorite journal, Medical Hypotheses. Cellulite, they say, might be be cured by sildenafil citrate, aka Viagra.

Thus far, Viagra has been useful to women indirectly — the drug aids and abets male arousal, keeping a a lover erect far longer than nature would allow. Basically, it triggers a chemical process that relaxes the smooth muscles of the penile artery. Turgid with blood, the penis stays erect until the drug wears off. (It doesn’t work on women because female arousal, desire, and orgasm are more complicated.)

According to the researchers, cellulite bulges are like flaccid penises — they’re both caused by weak blood flow. Viagra may solve the problem. The same chemical reaction that opens the phallic valves may also improve “microcirculation” under the skin, increasing blood flow and keeping cell membranes taut. Just as erectile tissue becomes smooth and tight, so, hopefully, would the butt and thighs. Moreover, high doses of sildenafil citrate has been shown to kill fat cells in cultures.

Altabas and her colleagues predict a topical form of sildenafil citrate within a few years — a cream, perhaps. To penetrate the skin, application would be followed by iontophoresis, a tiny electric charge. Smear and zap — perfect thighs! But how long would the magic last? If it’s any measure, a Viagra-fueled erection can last four hours — or one afternoon of sex on the beach.

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