Cellulite is a condition that causes the appearance of dimpled skin, most often on your thighs, hips, buttocks, and abdomen. While the bumpy, “cottage-cheese” effect it creates is cosmetic and medically harmless, cellulite can cause an emotional impact for people who feel self-conscious about the way they look.
Cellulite affects both men and women, though it’s much more common in women. While 80-90% of women are likely to develop cellulite at some time in their lives, the condition affects less than 10% of men.
The good news is that state-of-the-art laser and shockwave treatments can reduce the appearance of cellulite and restore your skin to a smooth, youthful condition. You can enjoy the benefits of these treatments by consulting with cellulite specialist Winnie King, MD, in her private aesthetics and wellness practice in Shenandoah and Houston, Texas. Cellulite treatments deliver long-term, noticeable results with little to no downtime and discomfort.
Find out more about cellulite treatments and how they can help you start the new year with a new attitude about the way you look.
How cellulite develops
Cellulite is a layer of fat that collects in pockets just under the surface of your skin and is bulging out through a web of connective tissue. Before you age, the web of connective tissue holds the fat in place. However, collagen fibers that connect the fat to the skin may stretch, break down, or pull tight over time. This allows the fat to bulge out and push against the skin.
Think of the connective tissue as a net that holds the fat in place. As the fibers of the net become too tight or too loose, the fat can poke through the holes in the net.
It’s unclear what causes cellulite to occur, though the condition has nothing to do with weight or fitness. Cellulite develops on people of all body types and weights.
Factors such as hormones, genetics, and age contribute to cellulite, so there’s little you can do to avoid it if you’re susceptible to it. Keeping a recommended body weight, staying hydrated, and maintaining regular exercise to replace fat with muscle can help improve the appearance of cellulite.
If you want more noticeable results, you may benefit from a cellulite treatment for areas of fat that don’t respond to diet, exercise, or lifestyle changes.
Smartlipo is a minimally invasive lipolysis system developed by CynoSure®. Smartlipo uses laser-assisted liposuction for the permanent removal of fat. The best candidates for this treatment are people who are close to their ideal weight.
Smartlipo is performed as an in-office procedure with a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area. Dr. King inserts a cannula, or small tube, containing the Smartlipo laser fiber into an incision in the targeted area of fat. The tube delivers the laser energy directly to the fat cells. The energy melts the fat cells so they can be suctioned out.
As the heat from the laser increases the temperature of your skin, it also stimulates new collagen. This helps tighten the treated area and improve elasticity. Increasing collagen contributes to an overall smoother surface in the treatment area.
The total treatment time for Smartlipo is about two hours. Local anesthesia reduces discomfort, though you may feel pressure or a pulling sensation. After your treatment, you may feel achy, like you’ve done a physical workout. You may have to wear a compression garment on the treated area for about a week to support healing.
Most patients achieve noticeable results with one Smartlipo session. Changes start to appear within a week after treatment, with improvement continuing for three to six months.
Downtime with Smartlipo is minimal. You can usually return to daily activities within a day or two of treatment.
ZWave uses high energy radial shockwaves to reduce the appearance of cellulite. The treatment can also be used after another technique, such as Smartlipo, for optimal results.
ZWave is a painless, noninvasive, in-office cellulite treatment. It transmits high-energy sound waves through soft tissue. The sound waves spread radially under the skin’s surface.
ZWave technology promotes increased metabolic activity, which leads to lymphatic drainage and improved blood circulation.
A ZWave treatment doesn’t involve pain or discomfort and may feel similar to a relaxing massage. Treatment of a specific body zone takes about three to four minutes.
Patients typically require a series of ZWave treatments to achieve noticeable results. A minimum of 10 sessions over a 3-4 week period is recommended but your treatment schedule depends on your condition and goals. You may notice smoother and firmer skin as soon as your second week of treatment.
Since ZWave is noninvasive, it requires no downtime. The results provide a temporary reduction in the appearance of cellulite.
Resolve to start the new year with renewed self-confidence. Find out how you can reduce cellulite with safe, effective medical treatment. Call our Shenandoah or Houston office today for a consultation.