Our Doctors Clear Up 5 Myths About Cellulite (Plus, One True Way to Kiss it Goodbye for Years)

cellulite treatment

Ugh, cellulite is the worst! That lumpy, dimpled skin can keep us from feeling our most confident in shorts and swimwear—and we do nothing to deserve it! For many of the estimated 90% of women who have cellulite, the only thing more frustrating than seeing those dimples is trying time and time again to get rid of them to no avail.

Knowledge is power when it comes to effectively fighting cellulite! Before you spend another penny on the latest “miracle” treatment for your lumpy thighs, take a minute to learn the truth from our knowledgeable team of doctors and aestheticians about what causes cellulite, what works to get rid of it, and what’s just horsefeathers.

Myth #1: You have cellulite because you’re out of shape.

You run 20 miles a week, do yoga every day, and you still have cellulite. What gives? Here’s what: cellulite is a structural issue, not a fat issue. It’s caused by fibrous tissue bands that connect your skin to the muscle below. For unknown reasons, these bands can tighten and/or weaken in some areas (usually the thighs and buttocks), pulling down on the skin in spots while slackening the skin in others, resulting in a puckered appearance.

Exercise may lessen the severity of cellulite by firming muscles and reducing the fat layer between the skin and muscles, which the fibrous bands run through. However, some cellulite will always be evident, as no workout can change these bands. Genetics, gender and skin quality have a much greater impact on cellulite than fitness or body size—we see cellulite in marathon runners, Cross-fit champs, and couch potatoes alike.

Myth #2: Weight loss will get rid of your cellulite.

Many people associate cellulite with being overweight, and think that cellulite will disappear right along with extra pounds when dieting. Not true. Cellulite is common in individuals both thin and heavy, and losing weight will not affect connective tissue bands. If you have cellulite now, losing weight may help reduce the extent of dimpling, as there is a smaller fat layer pushing up on the skin, but you can expect some cellulite to be there no matter what the scale says.

Myth #3: Cellulite is something only old people need worry about.

There is a sliver of truth in the age association—cellulite, if present, does tend to get worse with age, mainly because skin elasticity decreases as we age, and becomes less able to resist the pulling forces of those infamous fibrous tissue bands. So if you have more cellulite now than you did in your teens, you aren’t imagining things. That said, cellulite is extremely common in individuals (especially women and girls) of all ages, and doesn’t necessarily reflect “getting old.”

When it comes to reducing cellulite, you cannot control genetics, but you do have some control over the skin elasticity factor. Eating a healthy diet, hydrating well, not smoking, and following a high-quality skin care regime, including daily SPF, can help your skin stay healthy and more youthful-looking over the years, and could limit how big a problem cellulite becomes.

Myth #4: Detoxing can help cellulite go away.

Cleanses are often touted as the cure for every bodily problem, even cellulite—there’s an idea circulating that “toxins” and fluid retention cause cellulite by lowering skin quality and increasing puffiness and puckering, and that a “detox” cleanse can get rid of it. But as you’ve already learned, structural irregularities in fibrous connective tissue are the prime culprit behind cellulite. Cleaning up your diet could very well improve your overall health and help you look better in general, but no juice cleanse or pricey herbal tonic can specifically target cellulite.

Myth #5: Topical creams can reduce cellulite (maybe even just a little?)

Nope. We’ve all been duped by fancy creams, lotions, and sprays that claim to have the “secret” or “breakthrough” ingredient that makes it work for cellulite. But no over-the-counter skin firming cream has been shown to have more than a teeny-tiny and very temporary effect on the appearance of cellulite. They usually contain caffeine, silicone, or some sort of polymer that adheres to the skin or causes a slight inflammatory response that makes skin feel a bit firmer.

Even prescription-strength topicals, such as Retinol, which have been shown to mildly improve skin elasticity, usually aren’t worth it for treating cellulite—you’d have to use the product for many months to notice even a marginal effect, which will disappear as soon as you stop using it.

So what does work against cellulite? Cellfina is a true winner!

Now that you know why cellulite happens, you can understand why most treatments on the market don’t work: they fail to treat the source of cellulite. The good news is that we now have a clinically proven, minimally invasive procedure that does work: Cellfina.

Cellfina physically releases the fibrous bands beneath the skin that cause cellulite via a tiny, specially-designed blade, allowing the skin to “bounce back” to a normal, more even level. It’s the first and only cellulite reduction option FDA-cleared to reduce cellulite for at least 3 years—something no other cellulite treatment (even expensive lasers) can claim. Most patients are satisfied with their results after one treatment, and optimal improvements are evident within just a few days.

Our board certified plastic surgeons were so impressed with the safety, efficacy and science behind Cellfina that we added it to our own practice—what a great decision! Our Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg cellulite reduction patients who’ve had Cellfina are delighted with the ease of treatment and thrilled to see how much smoother and prettier their skin is after their procedure.

You can learn more about Cellfina here.

Better yet, contact us now and take the first step toward kissing cellulite goodbye—we offer consultations for Cellfina and all cosmetic procedures here at Plastic Surgery Center of Hampton Roads. We can’t wait to help you get smoother, firmer skin you’re proud to show off!