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Cellulite

Eliminate unwanted cellulite for a more confident you!

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Understanding Cellulite’s Causes, So You Can Effectively Treat It Fully

Start by understanding the grades and causes of cellulite, and then learn about today’s best treatment options in this video featuring Dr. Mitchell Chasin, the founder of our practice, but just 1 of many doctors at our practice who treat cellulite.

Our team of doctors include a board certified plastic surgeon with over 20 years of experience, a cosmetic surgeon who specializes in surgeries performed under local anesthesia, and several doctors who provide a variety of non-surgical treatments for cellulite.

Cellulite forms due to sex-related (male/female) differences in the skin and its underlying tissues.1 It is unclear as to what causes cellulite to form, but studies show that 85-90% of women experience cellulite as they age. Effective treatments for cellulite acknowledge these structural differences and seek to treat these causes of cellulite directly.

Top Asked Questions About Cellulite

  • Why do I suddenly have cellulite now?
    There are 2 main reasons cellulite tends to appear - and those are hormonal and weight changes, especially in women. Estrogen fluctuations impact the skin's firmness, and when the skin gets thinner and looser, cellulite shows through much more readily. As we gain weight, more of it tends to get trapped in the upper layers of the skin creating more cellulite, too.
  • Why don't cellulite creams, rollers, or massage work well?
    None of these actually treat cellulite - they just mask its appearance. The vast majority of at-home and spa treatments for cellulite work by inflaming the area, so it swells, and the fluids that gather in the skin will temporarily make the skin appear smoother. But this tends to last for only a day or two at most, and consistently creating this inflammation response is not a good idea health-wise for your body. Our treatments actually help remove the fat and fibrous septae that cause cellulite, and also thicken and firm the skin, so the results are very long-lasting and complete.
  • What is the fastest way to get rid of cellulite?
    Depending upon whether your cellulite is more overall wavy in appearance, bulges of fat, or specific individual dimples, either Exilis Ultra, Kybella, or Qwo will be the likely be the fastest, respectively. Each does take a few weeks to take effect.
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This page focuses on understanding the causes and types of cellulite – critical information for deciding which treatments might work for your body – but to dive into the details of treatments, please visit our cellulite treatments page.

Men very rarely develop cellulite and typically can reduce cellulite through weight-loss, unlike women.

Cellulite forms due to sex-related (male/female) differences in the skin and its underlying tissues.1 It is unclear as to what causes cellulite to form, but studies show that 85-90% of women experience cellulite as they age. Effective treatments for cellulite acknowledge these structural differences and seek to treat these causes of cellulite directly.

What Causes Cellulite?

For women, cellulite forms due to structural differences in the skin. All skin has fibrous bands that tether it to the fascia and tissues below. In men, these tethers form a diagonal mesh. In women, they form perpendicular to the top of the skin. Women also tend to lose significant amounts of collagen support within the skin as they age, making cellulite a problem that increases with age.

Grades of Cellulite

Structural Changes To The Skin

Cellulite forms due to the following underlying structural changes in the skin:

  • Fibers (septae) form that tether the skin to fascia below, creating deep dimples
  • Fat cells trapped within the skin collect into large bulges within the skin’s lower layers
  • Skin loses elasticity and thickness, making the bulges and dimples appear worse and creating an appearance that is wavy and bumpy like an orange peel

Look & Feel Amazing With Cellulite Treatments That Work!

Reflections offers several cellulite treatments that target the underlying causes of cellulite, for a smooth, youthful look you’ll love. Contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation today!

  • Wavy "Orange Peel" Appearance
  • For those that have a generalized, widespread uneven texture to the skin, skin tightening and firming can be transformative for the appearance of cellulite.

    Exilis Ultra

    Exilis Ultra combines radiofrequency with ultrasound energy (the same energy types used by Thermage and Ultherapy, respectively) to heat the skin in a controlled way, causing the skin to retract, tighten, and build new collagen that will make it firmer and more elastic. The results are much quicker than other non-invasive skin tightening treatments of this type, typically starting to show up around 4-6 weeks after treatment has started. Results last for around 1 year, but with the very affordable pricing of Exilis Ultra and the lack of downtime or numbing, many of our patients are happy to repeat this treatment each spring.

    Cellulaze

    Cellulaze uses a laser that’s injected beneath the skin to tighten and firm the skin by heating the skin and causing the body to build new collagen.
    Results for this aspect of the procedure develop over 3-6 months following the surgery.
    This treatment has really fallen out of favor with our patients because it is surgical (and many good non-surgical options now exist) and because there is significant, painful bruising expected for a couple of months following this procedure.
    We do still have this technology and would offer it to a patient who is aware of and okay with the tradeoffs.

  • Dimples
  • Individual dimples are typically caused by individual fibrous septae that abnormally tight. We can dissolve, cut, or otherwise remove these to release the dimple without any impact to surrounding tissues. These treatments are generally permanent in result.

    Qwo

    Qwo is an injectable treatment that’s used to target individual dimples. It typically takes 3 sessions of injections into the same dimple, spaced weeks apart, to completely treat and release it.
    There is very little discomfort with this procedure, although patients should expect non-painful bruising following the first session with potential for lighter bruising at subsequent sessions.

    Cellulaze

    Cellulaze makes use of a laser wand that’s injected below the skin’s surface to cut or vaporize fibrous septae that cause dimples.
    This treatment has really fallen out of favor with our patients because it is surgical (and many good non-surgical options now exist) and because there is significant, painful bruising expected for a couple of months following this procedure.
    We do still have this technology and would offer it to a patient who is aware of and okay with the tradeoffs.

  • Fat Bulges
  • Individual fat bulges pushing up against the skin are very difficult to treat, but we have found a handful of treatments that can predictably reduce these fat pockets.

    Kybella

    Kybella is an injectable treatment that can be used to dissolve small pockets of superficial fat. Patients do typically need more than 1 treatment, and it’s only cost-effective (and safe) for small areas.
    But the results are permanent and there is no downtime.

    Laser Liposuction

    Laser liposuction is probably the best treatment for those with larger fat bulges.
    It’s performed under local anesthesia and has only a few days of downtime – often with very mild or no bruising and moderate to mild swelling that resolves within a week or two.
    Patients find this to be an affordable, convenient treatment and love that it offers permanent results.

    Cellulaze

    Cellulaze includes superficial laser liposuction, and so it can also remove these individual pockets of fat.
    This treatment has really fallen out of favor with our patients because it is surgical (and many good non-surgical options now exist) and because there is significant, painful bruising expected for a couple of months following this procedure.
    We do still have this technology and would offer it to a patient who is aware of and okay with the tradeoffs.

    View More Cellulite Treatment Before & Afters

    More Before & Afters

    Patient Stories About Cellulite Treatment

    View All Patient Stories

    “I had the treatments and I am very happy, the cellulite is about 70 percent better and that is fine with me.”

    View My Story

    “It sounded too good to be true. But after meeting with you and understanding your knowledge of this miracle procedure I became convinced that this procedure might actually work, and it has!!”

    View My Story

    “After only my second treatment, I had already seen a major difference in my thighs and buttocks when I went to put my pants on.”

    View My Story

    Why Choose Reflections
    For Cellulite Treatment

    At Reflections, we believe a one-size-fits-all approach to aesthetic treatments never turns out well. Cellulite is particularly complex because it’s really a group of symptoms caused by several different factors. In 99% of cellulite cases, a combination of treatments is going to need to be used to treat all of your symptoms, and that combination needs to be informed not just by your symptoms/causes but also with your medical history, your lifestyle, and your budget.

    We offer free consultations with our physicians, so that you can learn about the combination of treatments that will work best for your cellulite – and you!

    We offer:

    • Treatments & appointments with doctors.
    • Variety of the best cellulite treatments, selected for their ability to create excellent results and to fit within the lifestyle and budget needs of different types of people, so that we have options that will suit each individual.
    • The newest technologies and techniques, provided by doctors who are focused on aesthetics as a specialty.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Cellulite & Its Causes

    • Can you get rid of cellulite?

      You can improve your cellulite, temporarily as a woman. If you treat it early and aggressively, you may be able to spend decades cellulite-free. But almost all women reach a point past menopause where their hormones simply make skin too thin to be cellulite-free.

    • What is the main cause of cellulite?

      There are 3 causes of cellulite:
      1. Fat trapped in the upper layers of the skin pushing up against the skin.
      2. Thin skin that shows more of the bumpy fat cells below.
      3. Fibrous septae that are tighter in certain areas (creating deep dimples).

    • How do I get rid of cellulite fast?

      Qwo cellulite dissolving injections for deep dimples and Exilis Ultra skin tightening are probably the 2 fastest ways to get rid of cellulite.

    • Why do guys not get cellulite?

      Men seem to naturally grow their fibrous septae in a different way than women, and they also store fat in other areas – these 2 differences seem to be the reason why even very heavy men rarely experience cellulite, but almost every woman has cellulite.

    • What is the best non invasive cellulite treatment?

      If you truly must stick to non-invasive (no needles, no surgery, no downtime), then the 2 best treatments are Exilis Ultra for skin tightening and firming, and CoolSculpting or SculpSure for removing excess fat bulges. Like with all things, the best treatment varies by person and symptom.

      If you’re willing to consider injections, lasers, and microneedling, there are a ton more treatment options – and again, the best one will be different for each person, based on their needs.

    Read Our Blogs About Cellulite Treatment

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    The 4 Types of Fat and The Most Effective Way to Lose Each

    Did you know there are 4 types of fat, and each one responds best to certain...

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    Sculpting a Body You Love, After Menopause

    Why Menopause Makes it Easier to Gain Weight in All The Wrong Places As we age,...

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    Sources:

    1. Luebberding, S., Kent, K., Alexiades-Armenakas, M. “lasers and Lights: Cellulite Reduction.”Body Shaping, Skin Fat and Cellulite E-Book: Procedures in Cosmetic Dermatology Chapter 14; 115-120
    Cosmetic & Laser Physician at Reflections Center | Website | + posts

    Dr. Michelle Ellern’s skillful hands, artful techniques, and warm and caring personality as a cosmetic physician make her a wonderful addition to Reflections. She is certified in Aesthetic Medicine by the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine, and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine.