Cellulite is defined as the presence of subcutaneous fat causing dimpling of the skin. Google the word and one of the first results is sure to be ways to try and get rid of it. Women are now alleging a popular device that claims to remove the tissue condition has left them injured, according to a Buzzfeed News report.
The $89 FasciaBlaster, a plastic stick with massage claws, is based off claims fascia, a type of connective tissue that encloses muscles and organs, is the key to improving the appearance of cellulite. Its website states, “Having loose, healthy fascia is vital for overall health and well-being. Healthy fascia also makes us look, feel, and function better!” The website claims the FasciaBlaster is useful for muscle pain, inflammation and lessening the look of cellulite. In instructional videos, bruising is said to be a sign the device is working.
However, though no recall has been issued, 62 adverse event complaints have been submitted to the Food and Drug Administration concerning severe bruising allegedly caused by the device, according to the news source. One complaint reads: “I was using this product as instructed, and I became bruised and inflamed…. I was told to use the product at a pain level up to 7, and in doing so on my lower back, I believe I may have damaged or disconnected the muscles from my lower back. I now suffer lower back problems and have had my lower back lock up two times on me in the past month.” Many of the reviews on Facebook also report severe bruising and pain.
“We take the safety and welfare of our users very seriously,” the company said in a statement to Buzzfeed. “Our practice is to have an independent third party physician investigate, but none of our users have provided any medical documentation of serious injury.” So far, no published evidence of a clinical trial for the product can be found, only a 90-day study the company performed itself.
Several doctors who spoke to Buzzfeed expressed concern the device could be doing more harm than good, as evidenced by the severe bruising. Kathleen Cook Suozzi, an assistant professor in the dermatology department at Yale School of Medicine, said, “Bruises are pathologic, or an indication of tissue injury, and shouldn’t be the goal of a treatment.”