With recent scientific developments, we are now in a better position to treat cellulite. Our dermatologists combine effective treatments aimed at treating the causes of cellulite, & in many cases can improve the appearance of dimples in areas such as the buttocks & thighs. Understanding your cellulite pattern is the first step in successfully reducing the appearance of cellulite.
- With focused procedures we are in a better position to effective treat cellulite
- The optimal treatment depends on you type & pattern of cellulite pattern
- Discrete divots respond best to minor surgical procedures to free up the tethers of cellulite
- Wavy cellulite responds best to RF devices & collagen stimulation
- Strengthening the middle layer of skin is the key to reducing the appearance of cellulite
Cellulite Treatments at a glance
Our results speak for themselves
CoolSculpting to the upper back & bra fat area is highly effective
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CoolSculpting arms. Best for fat, not laxity
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Cellulite is adipose tissue occurring beneath the skin. It is more noticeable by the weakening of connective tissue that separates the layers of the skin. Age, genetics, & lifestyle can cause our bodies to store fat in certain areas such as the hips, thighs & buttocks.
Understanding the cause of cellulite will give you a better understanding as to why treatments are so difficult, & why different modalities are required depending on your pattern.
- Decreased dermal support. The dermis is what keeps the fat pockets from protruding from the skin. In cellulite, the wavy patterns are due to pockets of fat that protrude from this thin layer. For treatments to work, this layer needs to be thicker.
- Larger fat pockets in females & those who have cellulite, this coupled with poor support above, leads to wavy cellulite.
- Thick fibrous walls & attachments that bind fat pockets, this gives rise to divots. These bands go from the fat layer & attach to the thin dermis on top.
Wavy cellulite, most commonly on the outer & inner thighs. The aim of radiofrequency is to assist in thickening up the layer of skin that holds back cellulite. It does this by stimulating dermal collagen.
Cavitation & suction devices increase lymphatic & blood flow to the area, improving the appearance of cellulite.
Localised cellulite characterized by discrete divots are easier to treat compared to general cellulite or wavy cellulite.
Divots & dings are due to fibrous bands pulling down from the dermis to the deeper fat. They are treated with surgical subcision followed by stimulation of collagen using dermal fillers & RF devices.
Dermal filler strengthens the deeper layer of skin, providing tensile strength to oppose the extrusion forces of cellulite below. We use two main types of fillers, namely poly-L-lactic acid & calcium hydroxyapatite in key concentrations. These fillers stimulate your body to produce collagen, as opposed to ‘collagen’ fillers or hyaluronic fillers that are prefabricated.
Fillers take 3-5 months to gain maximal strength, hence you will see results in this time. Of course, if you are opposed to dermal fillers, you can just use radiofrequency to see if your body can build enough collagen to reduce fat herniation below.
Dermatologists are specifically trained in the use of injectables, surgery & devices including radiofrequency & ultrasound cavitation. We treat your pattern of cellulite, & don’t rely on a machine.
Understanding your type of cellulite & implementing the correct strategies will give you the best results.
The first step is a clinical examination. If you are risk averse to procedures such as surgery & dermal fillers, book a FREE* consultation with our experienced nurses. They can discuss radiofrequency & tailor a plan for your cellulite pattern.
Alternatively book an appointment with our dermatologists. Consultation fee applies.
Cellfina is subcision for those who don’t know how to subcise. This device is made by Merz. It uses vacuum extraction to lift fat & cellulite away from the deeper muscle layers. A special blade is then inserted in a radial fashion. This transects the fibres holding the dimple down.
Subcision procedures work best on discrete divots or depressions. This subtype of cellulite is very different compared to ‘global’ cellulite characterised by waves & undulations.
Discrete ‘divots’ have fibrous bands that connect the dermal layer of skin to the underlying fat & muscle layer. Cellfina & surgical procedures cut these bands.
Take this survey to see if surgical subcision is the correct treatment for you.
It really depends on the number of divots/depressions.
Surgical subcision addresses each & every depression manually. Some patients have half a dozen whilst others may have over 50. The number of treatments range from 2-4.
The first step in effectively treating cellulite is to ascertain the pathology & pattern pertaining to the patient. This means understanding the degree of fibrous banding, structural extrusion forces & location of cellulite.
Surgical procedures such as subcision & Cellfina will have bruising that typically lasts 2 to 3 weeks. In many cases even longer- up to 12 weeks.
Compression stockings need to be worn for two weeks. Bruising can be treated with vascular lasers to expedite the healing process.
Unsuitable candidates for Cellfina/subcision include-
- Inner thighs (cellulite in this area due to poor support of dermis)
- Wavy or generalized cellulite
- Banana rolls of the buttocks
It is important to differentiate the expected recovery from side effects. The more extensive the surgery, the higher the side effect profile. Unfortunately, it’s the only way to remove the deep indentations from cellulite.
- Swelling & bruising for 4-6 weeks
- Lumps & bumps for 2-6 weeks
- Staining of the skin for 3-6 months
- Swelling & bumps for longer than 8 weeks
- Iron staining longer than 8 months
The most common side effect is staining of the skin due to bleeding during the procedure. This can take 6 months or more to subside.
Lasers can be effective in the management of isolated dimples & divots. They do not work well for wavy cellulite, especially in the inner thigh area. Lasers such as Cellulase are essentially energy based cutting tools, much like surgical subcision. They transect the bonds that hold dimples down & tighten the fibrous septae.
You will notice results immediately, however this is swelling. The results take 2-3 months as bruising will subside in this time.
The two groups of injections used to effectively treat cellulite are:
Dermal fillers. Fillers act as support or scaffolding to assist in containing extrusion forces from the fat below.
Enzymes. This product is not available in Australia, but available in the US. It is called QWo. This substance breaks the fibrous bands under the skin, redistributes fat cells & stimulates new collagen production.
This novel platform technology uses non-invasive rapid, high-frequency sound waves to disrupt targeted structures including fibrous bonds of cellulite. Cavitation with high energy can break up fibrous septae that hold pockets of fat that contribute to the dimpled appearance of cellulite. In clinical trials, after a single treatment session, RESONIC demonstrated significant improvement with very high patient satisfaction of over 90%.
The science of RESONIC is solid, bearing in mind this device has the backing of Allergan who produces anti-wrinkle, fillers, Kybella, Belkyra & owns Coolsculpting. Rest assured Cutis Dermatology will be involved in the preliminary studies before the launch in Australia.
If placebo is your thing, here are some ingredients that are used in cellulite treatment creams-
Retinol has the highest evidence as in theory it can ‘build’ collagen, thicken & reinforce the dermis to decrease herniation of fat pockets below. Is a fluffy topical going to be anywhere as good as collagen stimulating fillers? Probably not.
Lipolysis modulators are a group of compounds that can, in theory, ‘melt fat’. Nice marketing description. They include theophylline, aminophylline & caffeine. Hence why the posts on ground coffee as a treatment for cellulite.
Niacinamide, as always, is thrown into the mix if you see the word ‘inflammatory’.’ It is benign, it’s cheap, knock yourself out.
As the incidence of cellulite is over 90% of females, it’s considered the norm & natural. Which is a paradox if you are seeking a ‘natural treatment’. The following can be marginally useful to treat cellulite (ingredients better off in a smoothie than on the skin)-
Papaya & pineapple. The fruits & leaves of these plants have anti-inflammatory and antiedema effects.
Visnadine is from Ammi visnaga, a plant widely used in Egyptian traditional medicine
Butcher’s Broom (Ruscus aculeatus) modulates blood flow, & in theory can help with cellulite.
Ginkgo biloba is a Dimeric Flavonoids Phytosome. It is used worldwide as an herbal medicine for various circulatory disorders, it works for vitiligo.
Green tea is an antioxidant. For skin, tocopherol or vitamin E & ascorbic acids do a better job.
Escin. Escin is a natural mixture of horse chestnut seeds.
Bladderwrack is a form of marine algae that has been reported to thicken the dermis.
Dermatologists have no experience in the use of the above ingredients. If you are inclined to try natural remedies, consult a naturopathic practitioner, your health food shop, yoga teacher or masseuse who specializes in lymphatic massage.