This month, we’re discussing all things related to skin tightening, texture and tone. One very common – and frequently misunderstood – topic is the uneven skin texture caused by cellulite. For the majority of women, cellulite is a condition that needs no introduction, but what exactly is it? We sat down with Dr. Cox to find out.
Q: What is cellulite?
A: Cellulite is a condition characterized by a puckered, dimpled appearance of the skin. Cellulite primarily affects the thighs and buttocks of women.
A: Many people think cellulite is caused by excess weight and lack of physical activity, but the reality is a bit more complicated. Cellulite is caused by a structural issue within the skin. It occurs when connective bands called septae, which anchor the skin to deeper tissues below, pull unevenly on the skin surface, creating dimples. Fat may be a contributing factor, but it is also possible to be slender or physically active and still have cellulite. Hormones, genetics, poor circulation and lifestyle factors such as diet and smoking also seem to play a role, but research is ongoing.
Q: How common is cellulite?
A: Cellulite is incredibly common among women. In fact, it is estimated that 85% of American women have some degree of cellulite. Because it affects such a large percentage of the population, it is now the prevailing medical opinion that cellulite is not a malady so much as the normal condition of the majority of women.
Q: What isn’t cellulite?
A: Cellulite has become a catch-all term to describe unevenness of the thighs and buttocks, but it technically refers only to the dimpling and lumpiness caused by uneven septae bands within the skin. Skin laxity or looseness (sometimes described as an “orange peel” look) and horizontal banding across the back of the thighs are sometimes incorrectly described as cellulite. These issues have different structural causes than cellulite.
Q: Is there anything that actually treats and removes cellulite?
A: Yes, a new device called Cellfina is now hitting the market. Cellfina treats the underlying cause of cellulite through a micro-incision technique called “subcision.” This FDA approved treatment has been shown to reduce the appearance of cellulite for a minimum of two years, and has a 96% patient satisfaction rate. Cellfina is being launched in select practices across the country, and we’re excited to be among four practices in North Carolina to offer this exciting new treatment. You can see the results below:
Cellulaze is another FDA approved device. It uses a thin metal tube to deliver controlled blasts of heat beneath the skin, damaging the bands that cause cellulite and releasing the dimples. Cellulaze can produce great results, but tends to have lower levels of patient satisfaction and is not always consistent.
Cellulite creams and lotions are a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide, but there is no clinical evidence these products treat the structural cause of cellulite. As a research center, we focus on the scientific evidence, and ignore the advertising. When it comes to cellulite creams, we don’t think they work.
Body sculpting procedures like CoolSculpting or Liposuction are safe and effective ways to reduce fat and contour the body surface, but neither treat the structural cause of cellulite, and neither are FDA approved for treatment of cellulite.
If you have any questions, or are interested in learning if Cellfina might be right for you, get in touch. We can be reached by phone at (919) 338 5007 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit our page about Cellfina to learn more.