In women, it’s fairly normal to see “orange peel” dimpling along the legs, abdomen, buttocks, or lower back. There’s nothing to be ashamed of: cellulite affects a wide range of people, though it’s much more common in women, affecting around 90% of the population. In addition, cellulite can appear regardless of your body weight, and even very fit people can suffer from it.
However, if you’re worried about the dimpled, uneven appearance of your cellulite, you’re not alone. Luckily, modern cellulite removal is getting easier all the time, and there are a number of options to choose from.
What is cellulite?
To understand cellulite, it’s important to know a little about how the skin works. Under the top layer of your skin are fat cells that store energy for your body. Connective tissue, called fibrous septae, runs around these fat cells in crisscrossing patterns, leaving just enough room for fat cells of normal size. However, if those fat cells expand, or if the collagen in those connective tissues weakens, it can create the uneven “dimpling” appearance of cellulite. You can think of cellulite as little fat-filled balloons caught in an interwoven maze of string.
What are the options for cellulite removal?
There are many methods currently on the market for cellulite removal, but it’s important to know what really works for cellulite, according to research. The most effective options tend to work in one of two ways.
1. Cut the septae
With this method, the goal is to cut and release the septae (those interwoven connective tissues in your skin). This stops your skin from pulling, essentially giving your fat cells a little more breathing room.
To do this, your doctor will numb your skin, and then insert a needle with a small scalpel at the end. A slight movement back and forth cuts the fibrous septum. Afterward, you’ll usually be injected with a filler, such as Sculptra or hyaluronic acid. This helps keep the skin separated from the structures underneath, and it prevents the septum from simply re-attaching to the surface. Minimally invasive treatments like this can help improve the appearance of cellulite almost overnight, with effects that can last for up to two years.
2. Thicken the skin
With this method, the goal is to thicken the skin so that the septum’s tugging doesn’t cause a dimpling effect. Radiofrequency treatments like Viora work well to create firmer skin. These treatments stimulate collagen at the surface, ensuring that the skin doesn’t tug downwards so easily.
Currently, the best available treatment to tighten the skin of the buttocks without surgery is radiofrequency through Viora. This non-invasive process is FDA-approved to decrease the appearance of cellulite, and results can appear after just three( a series of treatments.) (I don’t like to give exacts so they might hold us accountable for that series of 3) treatments, with no injections needed.
As you consider your options, it’s important to work with a dermatologist (with your provider/not derm, we arent a derm) to learn which cellulite removal treatment will work best for your skin. At our Los Angeles clinic, we help a wide range of patients with cellulite, offering treatments to tone and tighten the skin. Learn more about our treatment options here.