While it's actually more common than not for women to have cellulite, the dimpled, irregular appearance is bothersome to many women. If you are unhappy with cellulite on your body, then cellulite reduction can help you feel more confident in your appearance. In general, cellulite treatment will b most effective if:
- You are bothered by the effect cellulite has on your appearance, and wish to reduce it
- You are happy with your current body weight and not significantly overweight
- You are in good overall health
- You have realistic expectations-cellulite reduction treatments can reduce dimpling, but not totally eliminate it
What are my treatment options?
Cosmetic surgeons use a variety of treatments to help patients reduce cellulite. While none are permanent, many can achieve results that last a year or longer. Below, we've outlined the most commonly used treatment types and brand name applications-availability of these or any other treatment will vary depending on what cosmetic surgeons in your area offer.
Laser treatments (Cellulaze)
Laser cellulite reduction (the FDA cleared treatment is called Cellulaze) uses a tiny laser probe, which is inserted just beneath the skin through a small incision. This laser heats the tissues beneath the skin's surface, where it works to:
- releases some of the fibrous septae
- reduce thickness of the subcutaneous fat layer
- stimulates collagen production
- improve skin texture and elasticity
Although it involves tiny incisions, laser cellulite reduction is considered a minimally invasive and can be safely performed by a qualified provider in-office, using local anesthesia. Downtime is typically limited to 1 to 2 days. Cellulaze is indicated to last about one year, and patients typically achieve their desired result after one treatment.
Non-laser energy treatments
Many treatments use energy from radiofrequency (RF), ultrasound, infrared light, or radial pulses to heat skin, stimulate collagen production and reduce cellulite. Depending on the specific treatment, energy-based cellulite reduction may also help achieve mild fat reduction and/or relax the fibrous septae to achieve a smoother, more even skin texture. Current FDA cleared treatments include:
- VelaShape (RF and infrared light)
- Freeze (RF and pulsed electro-magnetic fields)
- ThermiSmooth Body (RF)
- Zimmer Z Wave (radial pulse therapy)
Energy-based cellulite treatments are delivered through the skin, so they are considered non-invasive and usually require no downtime. However, a series of treatments may be recommended for optimal results. Additionally, results are temporary, so you will need to repeat treatment every few months to maintain results.