Cellulite is marked by the appearance of dimpled skin that sometimes resembles cottage cheese or the peel of an orange. What we know about cellulite is that it happens mostly to women. Around 85% of adult women over 24 have some degree of cellulite and the problem has little to do with weight. Skinny people, as well as overweight people, can experience cellulite to various degrees. And though it commonly appears on the thighs, cellulite can also appear on the buttocks and abdomen.
Cellulite treatments are available to combat this unsightly problem. Also known as cellulite reduction, these procedures can enhance your skin’s tone and texture, making skin appear smoother with a more consistent tone.
What is Cellulite, Really?
Cellulite is caused by the fibrous bands that connect the skin to tissue and muscle. These are called Septae. In women, septae take on a honeycomb shape. Men’s septae are in a crisscross shape. When fat accumulates, it pushes through the septae layers to become more prominent on the surface of the skin. In women, the fat pushing through the honeycomb septae causes dimpling. Men’s crisscrossed septae offers a smoother appearance when the fat pushes through. This is why cellulite is most often a female issue.
Some factors can make cellulite appear more pronounced, including increased body fat, thin skin, a lack of exercise, hormonal shifts, slowed metabolism, and dehydration.
Because the fat is trapped between the skin’s dermal layer and the septae, the fat is more difficult for the body to burn off as fuel. No wonder cellulite is so resistant to diet and exercise.
However, a cosmetic surgeon can address the underlying structural issues that lead to cellulite, which can eliminate the dimpling for dramatic results.
Cosmetic Treatments for Eliminating Cellulite
Sculptra Injectable Filler
Sculptra is a dermal filler that contains poly-L-lactic acid. Once injected, the serum goes to work stimulating your body’s production of new collagen. The new collagen fills up the dimpled skin, which effectively reduces the appearance of cellulite.
Depending on the severity of the cellulite, you may require two to three treatments of Sculptra before the skin issue disappears completely. Each session is spaced six weeks apart and leaves smoother more rejuvenated skin behind.
Liposuction and Fat Grafting
Liposuction and fat grafting can be combined to improve your body contours in one area while adding volume to another for the purpose of eliminating cellulite. Lipo is one of the most common cosmetic procedures in use today. In the hands of a skilled cosmetic surgeon, liposuction can extract fat from nearly any area of the body. You can apply liposuction on another area of your body, such as your abdomen, to remove excess fat and improve your body contours. Your fat can then be sterilized and injected into the cellulite-prone area to smooth the skin and potentially add volume.
The added fat will release the skin from the fatty and fibrous tissue underneath it. This technique is known as subcision. By using this technique, your cosmetic surgeon can disrupt the connection between the skin and fatty tissue. This in turn will improve the irregularities that affect the skin, reducing the appearance of cellulite.
The added fat not only reduces cellulite but can also reduce sagging and create a rounded, more youthful look. And because you are using your own fatty tissue, your body is unlikely to reject the fat transfer.
There are other benefits to using fat as opposed to an artificial dermal filler as a cellulite treatment. Adipose tissue contains stem cells, which remain dormant in the body until they are needed. Your body uses stem cells to regenerate damaged or lost tissue. Once restored by the fat transfer technique, the stem cells induce collagen production and generally rejuvenate the area, leaving smoother, more youthful skin behind.
Depending on the severity of the cellulite, you may need one or two treatments to make the dimpling disappear.
Lipo + Skin Tightening Renuvion (J-Plasma)
Liposuction combined with Renuvion J-Plasma can reduce the appearance of cellulite and other skin surface issues. J-Plasma is a technology that involves passing cold helium through radiofrequency energy. The resulting energy beam shrinks, tightens, and tones the skin at the treatment site. The treatment takes around an hour to complete. When combined with liposuction, undergoing J-plasma can leave your skin looking much younger than before.
During this cellulite reduction procedure, the surgeon inserts a tiny laser apparatus beneath the skin. The laser is then fired, which breaks up the tough bands of skin that cause the dimpling effect. The treatment also thickens your skin, which further helps to remove the cellulite problem. Results can last for as long as six months. However, some dimpling may return.
Renuvion costs around $4,500 per treatment area. While insurance is unlikely to cover cellulite reduction treatment, medical financing through CareCredit and Prosper Healthcare Lending is available.
VASER Lipo stands for Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance. The technique breaks up and liquifies fat cells, making them easier to remove. This advanced cosmetic treatment removes the excess layers of dense fat that exist beneath the skin. The technology consists of ultrasound energy that is administered with a handheld probe. The surgeon inserts the probe into the fat layer using tiny incisions before removing the fat. The VASER Lipo treatment costs $6,500 on average and is ideal for body sculpting and can reduce the appearance of cellulite. The results leave your skin looking and feeling soft and will improve over time.
VelaShape for Cellulite Reduction
VelaShape is a non-invasive technique for minimizing the appearance of cellulite using advanced technology. This technique is the ideal treatment for patients with stage one or stage two cellulite. Stage one cellulite only appears when the skin is pinched. Stage two is visible when the patient is standing without having to pinch the skin. You know you are stage two when the cellulite is visible standing but not when lying down. Overall, you should have a BMI (body mass index) below 30 to be an ideal candidate for the VelaShape procedure.
The treatment to reduce cellulite takes around 30 to 40 minutes to complete. During the procedure, you will feel warm pressure, almost like a relaxing massage. The VelaShape device uses vacuum treatment and heat rollers to smooth out the cellulite-prone area. This technique stretches out the constricted fibrous bands that cause the dimpling. This causes the skin to appear smoother. At the same time, the mechanical massage aids in lymphatic draining, which helps the body flush out toxins and improves circulation.
VelaShape typically requires around six treatments. Each session requires little downtime and can result in reduced cellulite or elimination of cellulite, depending on the severity of the issue. Each treatment of VelaShape costs $1,100 to $2,500 on average and will leave skin smooth and rejuvenated at the treatment site.
Pesky Cellulite, Go Away!
Cellulite may not cause pain or discomfort, but it can cause embarrassment. You might find yourself wearing clothing that hides your dimpled skin. This can affect your self-esteem. Now, with several cosmetic treatments available, you have a chance to say goodbye to your cellulite problem for good.
It is recommended that you have an in-person consultation with a qualified cosmetic surgeon to develop a treatment plan that specifically addresses your cellulite problem. For an experienced body contouring surgeon in Los Angeles, call Dr. Babak Moein of Moein Surgical Arts today at (310)694-4486.