Does cellulite go away on its own?

To my surprise and utter dismay, I recently discovered that I have some cellulite on my 'butt cheeks.' There isn't very much of it and it's certainly not visible to anyone outside of really close friends and family or if I'm wearing a bikini bottom and even then I'd basically have to thrust my butt in someone's face for them to really notice it. I don't want to stress out over it but it is starting to get under my skin (no pun intended) so it's time to confront it. My question is: does cellulite go away on its own with the passage of time? If not, what can I do or what can be done to make it disappear and hopefully not return? (BTW, I'm not overweight nor have I ever been in case that's relevant.) Thank you.


F, 31, New York

Tags:woman age 25-34 buttocks cellulite

Cellulite afflicts many women, and can significantly affect self confidence in situations where the dimpled skin is on display. Up until recently, there has been no real "cure" for cellulite, as the causes of cellulite are still not well understood. What surgeons do know, however, is that genetics, hormones, age, and excess fat all play a role in the formation of cellulite.

As a result, many doctors and surgeons emphasize the importance of a good diet, regular exercise regime and maintenance of a healthy weight to minimize the appearance of cellulite. However, even when all of these recommendations are adhered to, women may still encounter problem areas where cellulite is visible, as you mentioned in your comment.

Cellulite is more common among women because, generally, they have more subcutaneous fat than men and fewer septae or bands. Septae are responsible for holding the fat back. As fat increases, the septae have more work to do to keep the fat below the level of the connective tissue.

There are also minimally invasive surgical procedures that can help improve the appearance of cellulite. Endermologie devices suck up the skin and iron it out, creating a smoother appearance. However, the best results require one to two treatments per week, over a 10 week period, which can be costly.

Laser light treatments such as Vanquish may also help to improve the appearance of cellulite, while simultaneously firming and tightening the skin. They may also, however, require multiple sessions and months to see results.

The two most popular and effective treatments for cellulite are Cellulaze and Cellfina. Cellulaze requires a small incision in each leg. A laser is inserted through the incision, and works to break up fatty bulges, sever septae that cause the appearance of cellulite, and heat the skin, promoting the formation of new collagen and firmer, thicker skin. The procedure requires oral or intravenous sedation and one week of downtime to recover. While it is unlikely that all cellulite will be eradicated, patients have expressed a high satisfaction rate as the appearance of cellulite can be dramatically improved. Treatment may last between five-ten years, but in some cases, it may be less because the septae can re-form.

Cellfina is a more temporary treatment of cellulite that lasts for a year or two. It only targets the fibrous bands of septae, severing them with a tiny oscillating blade. However, it is most effective when used on patients with moderate to severe cellulite that appears as deep dimples or depressions. It is not so effective on mild cases where the skin takes on a "wavy" appearance. Nonetheless, for suitable candidates it can produce beautiful results. To learn about your options and determine which treatment may be suitable to help you achieve your aesthetic goals, consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist experienced in the treatment of cellulite.

About 90% of all women will have cellulite at some point in their lives.  Unfortunately, it does not go away on its own, and there is no effective reliable way to permanently remove it. There are treatments available that are designed to give temporary improvement in the appearance of cellulite.  They generally work by causing swelling to the area to mask its appearance.  Liposuction does not improve cellulite, and may actually make it worse.

Cellulite is extremely common among women, sometimes affecting even those who are physically fit and of a healthy weight. It occurs when the superficial layer of fat beneath the skin pushes against the connective tissue and bulges, causing an orange-peel or cottage-cheese like appearance.

It is more common among women because the fat cells and connective tissue are arranged vertically. Approximately 90% of women will experience cellulite at some stage of their life. Only 10% of men will be affected by cellulite, because in men the connective tissue follows a criss-cross structure meaning fat deposits are less likely to bulge through the tissue layer.

Cellulite can be exacerbated by hormonal changes, such as a decline in estrogen levels, which contributes to a reduction in the production of collagen and changes in circulation. It may also be caused by fat cells becoming larger or increasing in number.

It sounds as if you have minimal cellulite that is not easily visible, but if it is causing you concern or self-consciousness then there are some aesthetic treatment options you can consider. However, cellulite is extremely difficult to completely correct and there is no guarantee that treatments will work effectively for all patients.

Cellfina is a clinically proven, FDA-approved technology which claims long lasting results and high success rates in treating cellulite. It is a one time, minimally invasive procedure that takes approximately 45 minutes to perform. There are no incisions, and the procedure is controlled and safe.

A small oscillating microblade is inserted into the skin that makes cuts in the connective tissue that cause the appearance of cellulite. The connective tissue can be likened to a rubber band. When the connective tissue is cut, the fat bulges are released, creating a full, smooth appearance. This process takes about three days before results become apparent.

Another cellulite-specific treatment is Cellulaze. It has also been approved by the FDA and is minimally invasive, requiring only one session. A local anesthetic is given and a laser fiber optic is inserted beneath the skin. The laser heats and breaks down the fatty deposits, cuts through the fibrous bands that cause the appearance of dimpling and also stimulates the dermis, using heat to promote collagen production to thicken the skin and improve its appearance. It is a technically demanding procedure that should only be performed by a trained professional.

Finally, cellulite may also be improved by a healthy diet, regular exercise, and weight loss. A reduction in total body fat may help the appearance of cellulite, but possibly will not eradicate it completely. Weight gain, on the other hand, has been proven to exacerbate the appearance of cellulite.