Cellulite refers to the appearance of lumpy and/or dimpled skin appearance; Cellulite risk is increased with thinning of the skin associated with aging. Aging of the skin results in skin growth and looseness. This is compounded by stretching out of retaining ligaments that are rope-like cables that keep your skin attached to the underlying muscles, Finally, rubber band-like molecules that keep the skin taut, called elastin, is lost from the skin which results in your skin feeling more stretchy. Another set of patients that are prone to cellulite involves patients who have gained weight and subsequently lost weight. These patients can include post-pregnancy moms who gained more than 50 pounds during their pregnancy or gastric bypass patients who have lost 50 to 100 pounds. Infrequently, we also see cellulite appearance in patients that were overweight as children and/or young adults who have subsequently acquired a healthy lifestyle and voluntarily lost weight.
The main pathology for cellulite includes the stretching out of supportive cables, called retaining ligaments, during the weight gain due to the fat cells pushing on the cables. Once weight loss or even liposuction is performed and the fat cells are removed, these cables can become redundant thus making the skin loose and creating a dimple surrounding normal length cables. Any residual fat will then herniate along with the areas of thinned out or stretched out cables. This is what creates the small crater-like appearance of the dimple. This cellulite appearance is most observed in the thighs, hips, and buttocks areas. In addition, cellulite affects women mostly.
The treatment of cellulite requires addressing the pathophysiology observed. First, the central normal caliber band in the center must be released. Cellfina uses a microblade to cut central connective tissue normal band; the system has a suction cup that pulls up the skin to optimize localization of this band. Second, the surrounding stretched out bands along the perimeter of the dimple must be tightened. Cellulase uses a laser device to tighten the retaining ligaments tissue bands along the perimeter of the dimple. When there are a lot of cellulite dimples or if the skin is moderate to severely loose, then a skin tightening procedure should be advocated. For moderate skin looseness, the Renuvion scar less skin tightening can be recommended. For patients with more extreme skin looseness, then skin excision such as a lateral thigh and buttock tuck will be advocated.
If you are concerned regarding the appearance of cellulite, then a virtual consultation can be used to assess the severity of your cellulite. Once you have completed your consultation, a definitive recommendation will be made to eliminate your cellulite appearance. Please see this 66-year-old female who improved her lower leg skin appearance through scarless RENUVION technology.