5 Proven Treatments for Flawless Summer Legs

perfect summer leg tipsWe're not going to lie to you -- fixing some of the biggest complaints we have about our legs, like spider veins and cellulite, does not come cheap. Exercise and diet only does so much. The biggest and most stubborn problems, like those that come from age, usually require a trip to the plastic surgeon's office. Sorry, but instead of spending money on useless creams and strange rituals that do nothing, it's probably better to start saving up for these 5 proven treatments for the 5 most common leg complaints. And by proven, we mean, they've been around so long, there's enough clinical and anecdotal data that says they actually work. The latest, greatest new technology may sound promising, but in many cases the jury is still out.

  • Spider Veins


    Image via blair_25/Flickr

    The best treatment for these pesky squiggles that half of all women complain about is still one of the oldest -- schlerotherapy, says Dr. Alan Matarasso, of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Doctors inject a salt or soap solution into the veins to irritate and collapse them. Asclera is a new solution that some patients say works better than saline. IPL lasers sometimes help, but unlike injections, they don't target the feeder veins that causes more to eventually appear. (3-6 treatments at an average cost of $370 per session)

  • Saggy skin


    Image via Merideth G./Flickr

    Right above the knees -- that's the area that always seems to go first! Dr. Robert Guida, a Manhattan plastic surgeon, has found a CO2 Fractional laser helps minimize or erase fine lines, wrinkles and sagging. "As I peform the procedure I can instantly see the skin tightening at each touch of the laser," he says. "I find that this treatment restores the skin to a period 8-10 years prior." ($2,500 and up per treatment.)

  • Fat


    Image via grongar/Flickr

    Why can't they just invent something that "melts" the fat off your body? Well, they have! But reviews for "non-invasive" liposuction that's all the rage are mixed. Making an incision, inserting a tube and suctioning off your fat is the only way to guarantee it's gone for good, says Dr. Robert Murphy, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Advances in classic liposuction make it a lot less scary than in the past, and in some cases doctors can do it in their office under a local anesthetic. ($2,800 per session)

  • Discolored skin or brown spots


    Image via richard_north/Flickr

    Try the skin bleach hydroquinone first, and if that doesn't work, Dr. Guida says lasers are your next-line of defense. The laser uses a green-light wavelength that targets superficial blood vessels and pigmented lesions, and can also help zap broken capillaries and uneven birthmarks. ($500 and up per session, several may be required)

  • Cellulite


    Image via jenny_downing/Flickr

    No product or procedure will completely rid you of your cellulite, which is caused by hormones, genetics, age -- and it's progressive the older you get. New technology like Cellulaze, which specifically targets the cottage cheese condition, are too new for a final verdict. Dr. Matarasso says your best weapon is a healthy lifestyle to improve the skin's appearance over the inevitable dimpling: 1) Wear sunblock; 2) Avoid big weight fluctuations that lead to saggy skin; and 3) Eat right.

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