One of the most common female body issues is cellulite. Men can get cellulite too but it is the fairer sex that it plagues most and who want to do something about it most.
Cellulite doesn’t pose any physical health risk unless it is due to obesity and excess body fat. It’s the orange peel or cottage cheese appearance of cellulite that is considered by many to be unsightly and this can cause mental anguish.
What is Cellulite?
Cellulite is the visible and physical appearance of lumpy, dimpled flesh. It is very common and harmless and appears mostly on the upper thighs. It can also appear on the buttocks, hips, upper arms, breasts, and abdomen.
Although it involves fat cells, you don’t have to be overweight to have cellulite. The incidence of cellulite can be influenced by a poor diet, inactivity, genetics, and hormonal changes. It is more likely to be visible if you carry extra weight.
Cellulite forms when an accumulation of fat cells pushes up against the skin when the fibrous connective tissue that tethers the skin to the muscle causes these long tough cords to pull down. The result is the characteristic uneven surface.
Estrogen makes it easier for women to lose weight in the upper body (arms, bust, waist) compared to the lower body (bum, hips, thighs). Most women will find that slogging it out in the gym and a healthy diet will not get rid of cellulite.
Cellulite also increases with age and this is linked to the natural slowing down in the production of collagen. The result is a deterioration in the strength and elasticity of connective tissues.
How to Get Rid of Cellulite
If you are concerned about your dimpled skin, cellulite treatments are wide-ranging and easily accessible. There are no cures or preventative measures for cellulite but there are effective FDA-approved treatments for cellulite reduction. There are options in both the cosmetic and cosmetic surgery fields from simple cream applications to body contouring and liposuction.
If you want to get rid of cellulite without the invasive intervention of a plastic surgeon or a surgical procedure, then here is a list of treatment options to reduce the appearance of those unwanted lumpy cellulite dimples.
As a side note: Botox is not a suitable treatment for cellulite. Botox is targeted at muscles and cellulite is not a muscular condition.
ThermiTight can achieve results thanks to the direct delivery of energy to the subsurface of the skin. This is done with a needle-thin electrode that gently heats the dermis causing tissue shrinkage and stimulating collagen production. The heat tightens the skin and melts fat cells.
The procedure lasts for about an hour and has the benefit of no downtime.
Sculptra is an FDA-approved injectable collagen stimulator. The poly-lactic acid formula is designed to tackle the outward signs of aging as well as the underlying causes of cellulite.
The treatment is spread over several months and the biodegradable formula is injected directly into the target areas. Results are gradual as they show as the increase of collagen begins to take effect but they are also long-lasting. Clinical trials have shown that the results of Sculptra can last for three to five years.
This treatment uses radio frequency and micro-needling. A special device fitted with 49 gold-plated needles delivers high-intensity radio frequency energy under the skin to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin.
The device is so cutting-edge it can accurately and precisely determine the level of energy and depth of needle insertion required for each patient.
One of the benefits of Genius RF is that it works very well for darker skin types. This treatment is delivered into the deepest layers of the dermis and bypasses the epidermis, it reduces the risk of hyperpigmentation which can happen when melanocytes are traumatized.
There is minimal downtime and some initial redness or bruising but the results can last for years.
Various laser treatments are used for the reduction of moderate to severe cellulite, including Cellulaze and ONDA. Whatever the brand name, the principle is the same.
Laser energy is delivered beneath the skin to melt fat cells and release the bands of fiber that cause the cottage cheese-like signature look of cellulite. The treatment also helps to thicken your skin by promoting collagen and elastin growth.
Laser treatments are not as successful as previously mentioned treatments in terms of results. Results will last for up to a year as long as a healthy diet and exercise regimen are maintained.
Aveli is one of the newest treatments to treat cellulite.
It works by using a handheld device that is inserted under the skin to cut the fibrous bands responsible for the appearance of cellulite. being injected into dimpled areas to relax the problematic fibrous bands. This process is known as subcision. Cutting the fibrous bands results in a smoothing of the skin and improvement in the overall appearance of the cellulite.
Some of the potential side effects of Aveli treatments include expected things like swelling, tenderness, and bruising at the treatment sites, which may result in staining of the skin. This usually resolves but can take several months to do so.
If you are not interested in cosmetic treatments and plastic surgery to deal with body and skin issues, one way to try to tackle cellulite is through weight loss.
Losing weight can reduce the amount and appearance of cellulite to a somewhat satisfactory degree but as we’ve already stated, you don’t have to have excess weight to have cellulite. Yes, shock, horror, and skinny people can have cellulite! And as a woman, again, as already mentioned, it is harder to lose weight from the lower body as you age.
You can also consider taking collagen supplements and might also find that using skincare products designed for cellulite reduction will help.
Creams And Lotions
Again avoiding cosmetic or surgical routes, the science of dermatology can come to your aid for collagen reduction. There is plenty of research and evidence to suggest that certain creams, lotions, and scrubs can have a positive impact on cellulite. However, these effects can be rather temporary.
Various ingredients are included in cellulite creams including retinol, caffeine, vitamin E, vitamin C, and numerous botanical extracts. Dermatologists will have opinions on the effectiveness of each ingredient and their combined effect but most will affirm that retinol, a vitamin A derivative, is the most potent.
Retinol increases cell turnover, unclogs pores, and increases collagen production all of which help to tackle the appearance of cellulite. Look for a product that contains at least 0.3% retinol.
QWO is a type of prescription injectable to treat cellulite that initially saw success because it targets the primary causes.
QWO works by being injected into dimpled areas to relax the problematic fibrous bands. The product contains enzymes that specifically target the collagen in the bands resulting in a smoothing of the skin and improvement in the overall appearance of the targeted area. This treatment also reorganizes fat cells and stimulates new collagen production that will also help to naturally plump up the skin.
Unfortunately, QWO was recently taken off the market due to the increased occurrence of severe bruising and staining of the skin in many patients post-treatment.
What Treatment is Right For You?
With several options, it is best to seek professional advice on which treatment might work best for you. Book a consultation at Z Center for Cosmetic Health in Sherman Oaks as a first step. This medical spa is owned and operated by board-certified surgeon, Dr. Michael Zadeh, and only uses FDA-approved treatments for cellulite reduction.