Cellulite Removal: What Works and What Doesn’t?
Cellulite affects over 80% of women. The puckering effect of cellulite is formed as fat pushes against connective tissue under the surface of the skin. While not harmful to one’s health, the appearance of cellulite can instill a negative body image and lower a person’s quality of life.
While cellulite has been extensively studied for decades, there are few treatments that can significantly reverse the condition. Even worse, there are many treatments that make false claims of getting rid of cellulite on the abdomen, buttocks, and thighs, and these products/treatments have little to no conclusive scientific data regarding sustained efficacy.
Ineffective Cellulite Treatments
- Cellulite Creams – You’ve probably seen advertisements or infomercials featuring magic creams that make cellulite disappear. Unfortunately many of these products have no scientific backing and little efficacy. However, there are a few products available that when used diligently can have a temporary effect on cellulite. In order to be effective, a cellulite cream or serum should contain a combination of hyaluronic acid, caffeine, and retinol. One that I recommend to my patients is Fitting Room by MyBody.
- Massage – Professional massage can temporarily minimize the dimpling appearance of cellulite. However this effect is very short-lived as indentation becomes apparent when fluids return to the area.
- Mesotherapy – Originally developed to ease pain associated with inflammatory skin conditions, mesotherapy involves injecting minerals, vitamins, and other enzymes under the skin. While mesotherapy can break down fat leading to an improved appearance of cellulite, it can also cause negative side effects such as swelling and irregular contours. Mesotherapy is not an FDA-approved treatment.
- Liposuction – Liposuction is an amazing procedure for removing localized fat deposits on the body. Liposuction does not, however, remove cellulite. In fact, depending on the specific treatment area liposuction could potentially make the visual effects of cellulite worse as fat removal could increase the indentation effects of cellulite on the skin.
Effective Cellulite Treatments
As the first dermatology practice in Austin to offer the Cellulaze procedure, we have seen its positive long-lasting effects. Cellulaze treats the fibrous bands beneath the skin, while also thickening and adding elasticity to the skin. Cellulaze uses laser technology to disconnect the fibrous band of connective tissue that traps the fat causing dimpling (cellulite). At the same time, clinical studies show that the treatment builds collagen and elastin in the treatment area, thus improving the skin quality. The result is smoother, re-contoured skin.
Cellulaze is backed by extensive clinical data ensuring a safe and effective treatment. In a single treatment, Cellulaze delivers results that last. Studies found:
- A single Cellulaze treatment improved the appearance of cellulite for one year or more.
- 93% of patients surveyed were satisfied or very satisfied with their results one year post-procedure, and 100% would recommend the Cellulaze treatment to a friend.
- Cellulaze was shown to increase skin thickness by 25% and skin elasticity by 29%, even after one year. Thicker, more elastic skin can diminish the appearance of cellulite.
Subcision is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that works by cutting the fibrous bands beneath the skin, releasing the tension that causes cellulite. In some cases patients will also benefit from a fat transfer procedure to use the patient’s own fat and tissue to fill in any pockets created from severing the tethered bands.
QWO is the first and only injectable, non-surgical treatment that is FDA-approved to address moderate to severe cellulite of the buttocks in adult women. When injected into the treatment area, QWO works to subcize the fibrous septae (collagen bands).This release of the septae in turn releases the dimple, resulting in smoother skin and an improved appearance of cellulite.
We offer complimentary consultations to further discuss if Cellulaze, Subcision, or QWO may be the right treatment for you.