Evaluation of the effects of caffeine in the microcirculation and edema on thighs and buttocks using the orthogonal polarization spectral imaging and clinical parameters

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2007 Jun;6(2):102-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1473-2165.2007.00304.x.


Gynoid lipodystrophy, also known as cellulite, is a common multifactorial entity that affects millions of women around the world. There have been few scientific articles dealing with its physiology and treatment in the past few years, and vascular changes seem to play an important role in its pathophysiology. Skin microvascular alterations can be observed noninvasively with a new method called orthogonal polarization spectral imaging, which was used to evaluate the effectiveness of an anticellulite drug composed mainly of a 7% caffeine solution. Microcirculatory parameters evaluated were functional capillary density (FCD; number of flowing capillaries per unit area), diameter of the dermic papilla (DPD), and capillary diameter (CD). The clinical parameters analyzed were centimetrical measurements of thighs and hips and the influence of tobacco, alcohol, and physical activities on the efficacy of the treatment. After 1 month of treatment, statistical application of chi-squared and Z approximation tests showed, in treated patients, statistically significant reduction of thigh circumferences in more than 80% of the cases and reduction of hip circumference in 67.7%. FCD, DPD, and CD did not change significantly after treatment. Smoking as well as alcohol consumption and regular physical activity were not significantly related to the centimetrical reduction observed in treated thighs and hips.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / blood supply
  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects
  • Adipose Tissue / pathology
  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Buttocks
  • Caffeine / administration & dosage
  • Caffeine / pharmacology*
  • Edema / drug therapy
  • Edema / pathology
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Microcirculation / drug effects*
  • Microscopy, Polarization / methods
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Skin / blood supply
  • Skin / pathology
  • Smoking
  • Thigh


  • Caffeine