Many traditional cosmetic treatments can tighten skin, add volume, or reduce fat, but, unfortunately, most of them do little (if anything) to address cellulite. Likewise, people with cellulite are often underwhelmed by the results from topical creams, lotions, and massages that purport to address the common skin condition. Cellfina®, however, is a breakthrough innovation designed specifically for targeting cellulite. It can improve the appearance of dimpled areas in just one session without the need for surgery or general anesthesia. The West County Plastic Surgeons of Washington University team explains that with Cellfina® at its St. Louis practice, patients can achieve a more satisfying outcome than has been possible in years past.
Also known as gynoid lipodystrophy, cellulite is dimpled, lumpy skin that usually forms on the areas where fat accumulates on the buttocks and thighs. It is much more common among women than men. This issue is commonly associated with genetics, aging, hormonal imbalances, poor circulation, inflammation, and lack of exercise, which contributes to the weakening of connective fibers below the skin. However, even people who are slim and those who have a healthy diet and exercise regularly can still deal with cellulite. The cosmetic issue involves the overall structure of the skin, including subcutaneous fat, muscle, and connective cords that tether overlying skin to tissue beneath.
A buildup of large fat cells and the tension caused by connective tissues pulling down everything above like tight rubber bands produces an uneven pattern of depressions and bulging on the surface. Cellulite occurs in different levels of severity: mild, moderate, and severe. While it does not pose a threat to health, many women feel self-conscious about cellulite and the way it looks when revealed by certain outfits. An estimated 80 to 90 percent of women are likely to develop cellulite in their lifetime. Some experts believe that you can reduce susceptibility to cellulite with a low-fat diet, staying active, and avoiding smoking.
Ideal candidates for the Cellfina® treatment include adults between the ages of 20 and 60 who maintain a stable weight and have only a small amount of skin laxity. Doctors may recommend losing weight before having the treatment. A qualified practitioner can discuss your goals with you and can help you determine whether Cellfina® is the right choice.
Cellfina® is a mechanical technique that works by directly targeting the connective bands that cause cellulite with subcision. Rather than simply focusing on the outer layer of the skin, this technique goes below the surface to the source of the issue and corrects it in a precise, uniform manner. The fibrous bands are cut and released in a suctioning motion, using a needle-like microblade. The skin springs back to its proper position and appears smoother. Patients generally don’t require much prepping for the treatment.
While “orange-peel skin” or “cottage-cheese skin” are sometimes used as catchall terms to describe all forms of cellulite, they can be more accurately used to describe various grades of the condition. Each grade requires different treatment methods. Depending on the grade of cellulite you have, it may be more visible or less visible depending on your body position. (More accurately, cellulite falls into two categories: hard cellulite and soft cellulite. Hard cellulite is tight and attached more closely to muscles, whereas soft cellulite is gelatinous, spongy, and tends to occur in fatty areas.)
Mild cellulite is the type that produces the “orange-peel” effect with a few minor lumps, enlarged pores, and sagging visible only when the skin is pinched. Moderate cellulite creates a cottage cheese appearance with more depressions and more severe sagging. Severe cellulite has deeper and larger numbers of undulations. The more severe form is most difficult to treat and is visible when you stand or lie down. Cellfina® is not suited for the superficial indentations caused by mild cellulite.
Cellfina® results have been proven to last for for at least three years. Side effects are minor and include some soreness and bruising. Patients can go back to their activities right away without recovery time.
Discover more about Cellfina® and other nonsurgical procedures available from West County Plastic Surgeons of Washington University by calling 314.996.8800 or filling out an online contact form to request a consultation.