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How to Get Rid of Cellulite on Legs & Buttocks

by | Anti-aging

Studies show that approximately 85 to 90% of adult women and a few men suffer from cellulite on the upper arms, abdomen, buttocks, and thighs. These dimples (medically known as gynoid lipodystrophy) emerge due to alterations in the layer of fat just beneath the skin’s surface and in the connective tissue..

Cellulite dimples, and bumpy skin on the lower body, can be frustrating and unpleasant. For many women, the appearance of cellulite impacts their self-esteem. Improving your diet and strength training can help reduce body fat, sculpt muscles, and minimize the appearance of cellulite. Yet, converting to a healthier lifestyle will not completely resolve the issue. Unfortunately, it is tough to treat on your own.

Just because butt cellulite is a prevalent skin condition does not imply that you must endure it indefinitely. QWO is a prime example of a popular FDA-approved non-surgical treatment that reduces and removes cellulite dimples. There are countless treatment options, both non-surgical and surgical, that target the structural cause of cellulite to restore smooth, youthful skin. But first, it’s essential to understand what cellulite is and what causes it.

What Causes Cellulite?

The body contains connective tissues, called septae, that link the skin on top to the underlying tissues and muscles below. The septae are fibrous collagen walls that essentially maintain body structure by distributing superficial fat cells into small compartments of similar size. Alterations to the composition and number of the fat cells or septae can cause cellulite dimples to form.

So the question becomes, what causes changes in the arrangement and amount of fat cells and septae? The most prevalent theory is that these changes are provoked by alterations in circulation and blood vessels in the subcutaneous tissue. This effect is influenced by genes and hormones, and outcomes are amplified by obesity or a sedentary lifestyle.

With cellulite, the fibrous collagen walls become increasingly thick and rigid. Alterations in the amount and composition of fat underneath the skin become more apparent in women due to how their bodies distribute fat cells. Men accumulate fat around the midsection while women gain it more in the hips, thighs, and buttocks (common cellulite areas).

In conclusion, the most common causative factors of cellulite include:

  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Hormones
  • Poor Diet
  • Unhealthy Lifestyle
  • Weight Gain
  • Pregnancy

Does High Body Fat Cause Cellulite?

The key difference between cellulite and body fat is their development. There are two types of fat within the body: visceral and subcutaneous.

  • Visceral Fat: Visceral fat is stored deep within the abdomen; surrounding organs such as the intestines and liver. The buildup of visceral fat under the muscles can increase the size of your waistline and risks for health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.
  • Subcutaneous fat: Subcutaneous fat is positioned just beneath the surface of your skin and helps with the regulation of internal temperature, and provides padding for the muscles and bones. This layer of fat also participates in many metabolic, hormonal, and healing processes within the body.

Cellulite emerges from interactions between connective tissue and the subcutaneous fat located just below the surface of your skin. It can be hard, soft, or oedematous (swollen). Swollen, or oedematous, cellulite is most commonly seen in overweight women. Hard and soft cellulite is seen in women who exercise regularly and women who recently lost weight.

The amount and type of cellulite you have depends on your genetic background and lifestyle. This leads us to conclude that while high body fat will increase the severity of cellulite’s appearance, it is not the fundamental condition that drives it.

So whether you’re living a healthy lifestyle or an unhealthy lifestyle doesn’t matter in essence. However, listening to wellness advice and dieting will help reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Ways To Shrink Fat Cells

For many years, specialized massage techniques and creams have been used to shrink fat cells. Techniques, such as vacuum suction and rollers, caused mild inflammation. While cellulite creams and lotions improved collagen production, they rarely helped to reduce the appearance of cellulite. Some women would spend hours foam rolling their thighs and buttock, hoping to get rid of cellulite.

Since cosmetic procedures are developing, there are some recent technological breakthroughs. Cosmetic surgeons are now able to reduce cellulite without invasive treatments. These non-surgical methods target the structural cause of cellulite to reduce the dimpling appearance and provide you with the smooth skin you desire.

However, if you aren’t a big fan of cosmetic procedures, you can still shrink fat cells and lose the little dimples over the entire body while watching your sodium intake and eating plenty of fiber and whole grain foods since they help remove waste and toxins from your intestinal tract. While following a balanced diet and avoiding fast food, you can still eliminate toxins and increase the hopes of making cellulite less visible.

Injectable Treatments (QWO®)

QWO is the first FDA-approved injectable cellulite reduction treatment. QWO contains enzymes that aid in breaking down the collagen bands by stimulating the production of septae and redistributing fat cells, therefore, reducing the appearance of cellulite.

The number of treatments needed will be determined by the cosmetic surgeon and depend on the size and severity of the treated area. On average, three treatments are enough to provide you with the desired results. There may be some bruising afterward, but there is no downtime associated with this treatment method.

Laser Treatments

Laser treatments also referred to as radiofrequency systems, help to reduce cellulite. These cellulite treatments include massage, liposuction, or light therapy. They liquefy fat and cause connective tissue to loosen, reducing the bumps, boosting collagen growth, and tightening the skin. You can expect the results to last for at least six months. There are a variety of popular, FDA-approved treatments, such as Cellulaze.


This FDA-cleared, minimally invasive method heats the tissue beneath the skin’s surface to improve texture and elasticity, stimulate collagen production, and reduce fat in the subcutaneous fat layer. It uses a tiny laser probe inserted beneath the skin through a small incision. 

The tiny incision will require local anesthesia. There is typically 1 to 2 days of downtime following the procedure; therefore, it is deemed a minimally invasive technique. The doctor will perform the treatment safely in their office. 

Cellulaze provides desired results with a single treatment that will last for approximately one year for most patients.


While using a Cellulaze laser, the cellulite bumps can often be replaced with scar tissue bumps. The Cellfina technology utilizes an advanced microblade technique called subcision to avoid this effect. A tiny laser-tipped cannula is inserted into the cellulite tissue, cutting the shortened, hardened connective tissue fibers that anchor the indented skin to the tissue underneath. This is the latest minimally-invasive, laser-based cellulite reduction method that does not induce scar tissue formation and provides long-lasting results.

By slicing and loosening the connective tissues that anchor the skin to form the dimpling effect, the indentation is set free, resulting in a smooth appearance of the skin in the treatment area. You’ll likely experience temporary soreness and mild bruising following the procedure.

There is minimal downtime, and patients will notice visible improvements within three days of their treatment, with the most optimal results appearing within 3 months. Currently, Cellfina is considered one of the longest-lasting minimally-invasive cellulite treatments available. 

LLLT- Low-Level Laser Therapy

In contrast to ablative lasers, low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is very gentle. It is used in physiotherapy as a therapeutic stimulus for superficial tissues. LLLT exposes the adipose tissue that forms micropores in fat cells and accelerates the breakdown of triglycerides into glycerol and fatty acids. The fatty acids are then released from the cell, reducing cell volume. The released lipids are removed through usual metabolic processes.

Laser Therapy On Patient'S Knee

Non-Laser Energy Treatments

You’ll find a variety of non-laser treatments that use energy from radiofrequency (RF), ultrasound, infrared light, or radial pulses. Unlike laser treatments, they will heat the skin, stimulate collagen production, and reduce cellulite throughout the skin. Because they are delivered through the skin, there is no downtime and are considered non-invasive treatments.

Specific non-laser energy-based treatments will also help reduce fat and relax the fibrous septae promoting smoother skin and texture. Here are some of the current FDA-approved therapies:

  • VelaShape® (RF and infrared light): VelaShape is a powerful, non-invasive treatment that combines vacuum, infrared light (IR) with bi-polar radio frequency (RF). These energies combine to deep-heat fat cells and the surrounding tissue resulting in a smaller circumference and reduction in the appearance of cellulite. VelaShape is a targeted treatment for various body areas such as thighs, buttocks, and abdomen.
  • Venus Freeze® (RF and pulsed electromagnetic fields): While using (MP)² technology, Venus Freeze™ combines Multi-Polar Radio Frequency with Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Fields to produce a soothing and therapeutic heat matrix over the skin. The treatment results in softened laugh lines and wrinkles, tightening the abdomen for a flatter, more defined waistline, reducing the appearance of stretch marks and cellulite, and enhancing the shape by contouring the buttocks and thighs. It is a pain-free treatment with no downtime.
  • ThermiSmooth Body (RF): This treatment includes The ThermiRF+ control system that uses temperature-controlled radiofrequency technology to gently heat targeted areas of your skin, naturally stimulating collagen. The treatment provides smooth, natural-looking results.
  • Zimmer Z Wave (radial pulse therapy): Zimmer Z Wave is a non-invasive procedure that uses sound waves to stimulate lymphatic drainage, blood circulation, and collagen production. The energy is dispersed radially, making the treatment effective in surrounding areas. By addressing lymphatic drainage and blood circulation, cellulite can be reduced and even eliminated.

You may require a series of treatments to achieve optimal results, and the results will last for only a few months.

The Right Cosmetic Surgeon For Cellulite Treatments

Many of the cellulite treatment methods mentioned are FDA-approved and they can provide you with long-lasting visible results. When looking for the right cosmetic surgeon to reduce your cellulite, it’s important that they are qualified and licensed. 

The Cosmetic injectables Center at Sherman Oaks is a highly reputable institution with a wide range of treatment options. Dr. Sherly Soleiman and her award-winning staff have dedicated their practice to delivering exceptional results with the utmost comfort and most advanced techniques. Schedule a consultation for a complete evaluation and discussion of your goals and needs. Your provider will review your treatment options and develop a customized treatment plan tailored to your desired results.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What really works for cellulite reduction?

There are few treatments available for cellulite reduction that really work, including laser therapy, radiofrequency treatments, acoustic wave therapy, Cellfina, and Liposuction. Each has its own set of benefits and considerations, and a qualified healthcare professional can help determine the most suitable option for an individual’s specific needs.

How long does cellulite reduction last?

The longevity of results from cellulite treatments depends on the specific procedure, individual factors, and post-treatment care. While some treatments offer more permanent solutions, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help prolong the results.

How many sessions does it take to get rid of cellulite?

The timeframe for seeing results from cellulite treatments can vary widely depending on the type of treatment and the individual’s unique physiology. Some treatments may show immediate improvements, while others might take several weeks to months to reveal noticeable results.

What really works for cellulite reduction?

The effectiveness of cellulite treatments varies from person to person, but minimally invasive procedures such as laser therapy, radiofrequency treatments, and acoustic wave therapy have shown promising results in reducing the appearance of cellulite by improving skin elasticity and promoting collagen production.

What Is the Newest Cellulite Treatment Available in 2023?

The field of cosmetic medicine is constantly evolving, and new treatments for cellulite are continually being developed. To find the most up-to-date and innovative options available in 2023, it is recommended to consult with a qualified healthcare professional or a reputable cosmetic clinic.

How Can I Reduce Cellulite on My Legs?

Reducing cellulite on the legs can be achieved through a combination of professional treatments, lifestyle changes, and at-home remedies. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, proper hydration, and targeted treatments such as laser therapy or radiofrequency treatments can all contribute to smoother, more toned legs.

Does This Treatment Effectively Eliminate Cellulite?

While CoolSculpting is primarily designed for fat reduction, some individuals have reported improvements in the appearance of cellulite. However, it is not specifically approved for cellulite treatment, and other options might provide more targeted and effective results for cellulite reduction.

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