You’ve tried every cream on the drugstore shelves with a label promising to improve the cottage cheese texture on your butt and thighs. None have lived up to the hype, and you’re ready for some professional medical help. The Plastic Surgery Channel brought together a panel of board certified plastic surgeons to answer common questions about cellulite and provide you with advice and insight to what works.
What is cellulite and why do I have it?
“It’s a very difficult problem and a very common problem,” notes Lake Tahoe based plastic surgeon Dr. Tiffany McCormack. “It’s not always weight-related, it’s sometimes genetic.” You may work out all the time hoping that as the amount of fat on your body decreases, the texture of your legs and butt will improve. The truth is, whether you have a lot of fat or only a little, you still have fat cells all over your body. When those fat cells “dimple” the result is cellulite.
Many fit, active women still experience cellulite. What is causing that dimpling It’s not the presence of fat, but small bands that are attached through the fat to the skin. According to Dr. Brad Bengtson of The Bengtson Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, “Cellulite is caused by septal bands, little fascial bands that attach to the skin, causing dimpling and waves.”
Houston plastic surgeon Dr. Camille Cash reveals another factor that plays a role in why women see an increase in cellulite as they age, “Unfortunately for many women, it is a fact of life. It’s related to hormonal changes, genetics and sometimes, but not as often, your physique. One thing you can do to try to minimize it, is to maintain a healthy lifestyle with good, proper diet and exercise. But it’s not going to eliminate it, unfortunately.”
What Treatments Work?
“A common misconception is that cellulite is related to fat content, and it’s not. It’s the septal bands,” elaborates Cash. “So, people often think that liposuction will treat the cellulite, and that’s not true because liposuction is a tool for removing fat, and actually, liposuction can sometimes cause worsening of the appearance of cellulite.”
The good news is that there are non-surgical treatments that can address cellulite better than liposuction. How can you get rid of those bands and get a nice smoothe contour on your legs? Dr. Bengtson’s Michigan office is excited about a new cellulite treatment called Cellfina®. “We’ve treated about ten or twelve patients so far,” says Bengtson. “The cool thing about Cellfina is that it goes in and selectively releases those bands that cause the wrinkling.”
Dr. McCormack has also improved the cellulite of her patients with a procedure called Cellulaze®, “I utilize Cellulaze in my office, which I like because it addresses the bands and the fat, and also the skin laxity, but it doesn’t treat all areas as well as some of the newer technologies coming out, like Cellfina, which I plan on bringing on board as well.” Depending on where you have cellulite and to what extent, a plastic surgeon with experience using multiple technologies can explain which new treatment on the market is best suited to you.