What is the best way to get rid of cellulite?

I'm in my mid 30s and I've been suffering with cellulite since the birth of my third child. I have it on my bum, my thighs and my gut. I exercise. I avoid fatty foods and alcohol. Most recently, I gave up coffee. I don't necessarily believe that, because of those choices, my cellulite will vanish but maybe it doesn't hurt. I know for sure now that the only way to beat cellulite is with professional assistance but I don't know where to start. Using the little bit of info I've given, are you able to make a suggestion for which procedure is best for me? I just need to be pointed in the right direction so I can take those first steps with confidence and without the concern that I'll spend all my money trying to figure it out on my own. Thank you.

IYolande

F, 37, California

Tags:woman age 35-44 thighs buttocks cellulite

It's typically quite hard to treat cellulite, and unfortunately there are no cellulite treatments that can offer a 100% solution in all cases. The best we can usually hope for is to reduce cellulite, rather than eliminate it completely.

Cellulite is characterized by a dimpled skin texture, often described as "cottage cheese" or "orange peel" skin. Cellulite is an extremely common hereditary characteristic that occurs far more frequently in women than men.

It is often caused by an enlargement of adipose fat cells which creates a quilting effect between less elastic fibrous bands of connective tissue. The lower skin elasticity of the connective tissue creates dimples on the surface of the skin as body fat grows outwards.

One promising clinical treatment is Cellulaze, an FDA-approved laser treatment for the reduction of cellulite. Cellulaze uses a minimally invasive laser technology to release the connective tissue that tethers the surface layer of skin causing dimples. Cellulaze treatments also reduce the amount of fat beneath the surface of the skin, encouraging collagen production along the way.

Another excellent cellulite reduction technology is Cellfina. Cellfina offers extremely long-lasting results using a patented vacuum technology. As with Cellulaze, Cellfina targets the fibrous connective tissue which causes dimples on the surface of the skin. By cutting these fibrous bands with a minimally invasive procedure, the skin surface can be kept dimple-free for two years or more after the treatment.

There are many other clinical treatments, all promising to get rid of cellulite, which in reality have varying rates of success. These include chemical peels, laser and other RF treatments. While these treatments can increase collagen production and improve skin smoothness, multiple treatments may be required and the results may not be long term.

Home remedies and topical creams are largely useless, but maintaining a healthy weight and adhering to a diet rich in omega-3 can prevent cellulite from getting worse.

If you're interested in Cellulaze, Cellfina, or other clinical treatments to reduce cellulite, I encourage you to schedule a consultation with a board-certified dermatologist to discuss your specific case and determine which options are best for you.

Treating cellulite is very difficult. While there are multiple treatment options, none of them offer a perfect solution. When discussing cellulite treatments, it's important to manage expectations correctly: We have had excellent success reducing the visual appearance of cellulite, but turning cottage cheese skin into perfectly smooth skin is rarely possible in most cases.

What we call cellulite is actually the result of three separate and distinct characteristics:dimpled skin caused by tethering connective tissue to the surface layer of skin, uneven fat deposits within the skin, and irregularities in the thickness of the skin.

Any Google search for cellulite remedies will bring up dozens of home remedies, topical solutions, workout routines and lifestyle changes which purportedly result in cellulite reduction. While diet and exercise help to a certain extent, it's important to note that cellulite is a hereditary characteristic, and in most cases no amount of strength training or healthy diet is going to help significantly.

The best new clinical techniques involve releasing the connective tissue which causes the dimpling. Two well -known technologies in this department are Cellulaze and INVASIX. Minimally invasive and radio frequency devices for combating cellulite do work, and in many cases the results are excellent after just one treatment. Just how well they work depends on how severe your cellulite was before beginning the procedure.

There's no way to give you any specific advice without a personal consultation, so if you're interested in an FDA-approved, clinically proven cellulite reduction treatment, I advise you to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon for an initial consultation. 

All of the things you mentioned (avoiding fatty foods, giving up coffee and alcohol) won't help get rid of cellulite. While weight loss, a healthy diet, and vitamin C may contribute to better skin texture, the most effective ways to visibly reduce cellulite are with proven clinical procedures administered by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.

Unlike most other laser and RF treatments, cellulite reduction requires a minimally invasive procedure beneath the surface of the skin. The characteristic dimples that are visible on the surface are usually due to subsurface connective "tethers", which hold back a portion of the skin. As normal body fat accumulates beneath the surface of the skin, these fibrous bands of connective tissue hold back the fat in certain areas.

By using subsurface RF, laser, or suction technologies, the fibrous bands can be severed in the affected area. Once severed, the dimple disappears.

Which technology is best varies from case to case and depends on the specific presentation. We have had excellent success with minimally invasive RF technologies. Other excellent solutions include Cellulaze, which uses laser fiber optics beneath the surface of the skin, and the newer Cellfina, which uses a patented suction technology. In all cases the underlying principle is similar: cut the fibrous septae and allow the fatty tissue to level out to a natural contour.

It's important to keep in mind that cellulite treatment isn’t usually a complete solution. The degree to which your doctor can reduce cellulite depends on a number of factors, including the severity of the cellulite before the procedure and the specific type of cellulite you have. In most cases your doctor will be able to significantly improve the appearance and evenness of your skin by reducing the amount of dimpling and unevenness.

Complete correction and smoothing of cellulite may not be possible in all cases. If you're interested in having your cellulite treated professionally, I advise you to leave the choice of technology up to your doctor. 

Cellulite is a very difficult problem to address because it has components of fatty overgrowth and the formation of fibrous septae (which are tethered points) beneath the skin.  Many procedures have been advocated for helping with this problem but in my experience most have disappointing results.  I have had good results recently with a new radiofrequency technology called Profound.  Using proper technique we have been able to get long term improvement in mild to moderate cellulite for patients with healthy skin.  I think this is worth checking out.