Manhattan Dermatology Specialists
  • MIDTOWN 56 W 45TH ST, STE 819 New York, NY 10036
  • UPPER EAST SIDE 983 PARK AVE, STE 1D1 New York, NY 10028
  • UNION SQUARE 55 W. 17TH ST STE 103 New York, NY 10011

Cellulite Removal

Cellulite RemovalAbout 90 percent of American women have some amount of cellulite on their bodies. The bumpy indentations can show up among men and even teenagers of both sexes. Cellulite occurs when deposits of fat lump together and then push upwards towards the surface of your skin. The result is patches of dimples that aren’t so cute.

Cellulite is not the domain of fat or overweight people either. Thin people struggle with the unsightly burden of cottage cheese-like skin as much as heavier people. Cellulite becomes more noticeable when you carry extra weight around. But it’s sometimes worse if you spend considerable time staying in shape, only to spot a patch of dimples on your thigh when you look in the mirror.

Condition of Many Names

Cellulite is big business. Because of its ubiquitous nature, many companies have emerged with “miracle cures” that are mostly worthless, just like an industry that bilks consumers for millions spent on fruitless weight loss products. Hence, the beauty industry parades a stream of useless products to a population desperate for smooth skin.

Talk to your New York dermatologist before you rush to buy any of the purported cures. Instead, take a more cautious approach and work with your skin doctor to find realistic cellulite removal procedures.

The medical terms for cellulite include gynoid lipodystrophy, adiposis edematous, status protrusions cutis, and dermopanniculosis deformans. You’re probably more aware of its street names: cottage cheese skin, mattress phenomenon, orange peel syndrome, and hail damage. But no matter what you call it, you most likely would like to find a way to get rid of it.

Where Cellulite Comes From

Cellulite most likely has a genetic component, according to a top Manhattan dermatologist. If your mother had cellulite, there’s a good chance you will too. Characteristics associated with cellulite formation include:

  • Race
  • Gender
  • How fat is distributed underneath your skin
  • A slow metabolism
  • Inadequate circulatory system

And just as cellulite doesn’t appear only on overweight people, you increase the likelihood of having more cellulite than others if you eat a diet:

  • Loaded with carbohydrates
  • High in fat
  • That relies on large amounts of sodium
  • Low in fiber

Even if you work out regularly, remain active, and pay attention to your lifestyle habits, you increase the odds of developing cellulite if you:

  • Smoke
  • Spend long periods in a sedentary position
  • Stand on your feet for long periods of time

Hormones most likely play a role in cellulite formation too. Researchers have discovered various processes and substances that are part of cellulite development. They include:

  • Estrogen
  • Progesterone
  • Noradrenaline
  • Insulin
  • Thyroid hormones
  • Prolactin

And finally, your clothing may play a role, too. Your underwear may be contributing to the excess cellulite on your thighs and buttocks by restricting blood flow where the elastic is too tight.

Treatment Options

Talk to your Manhattan dermatologist about various cosmetic solutions that may get rid of your body of cellulite or at least reduce the amount and severity of the bumps on your skin. A few of the removal procedures might include:

  • Cellulase: This is a process that’s been approved by the FDA for cellulite removal and relies on a laser that’s inserted into your skin actually to try to melt the fat. As it heats the fat, it loosens up the bands of fibers that hold it all together, creating a smoother appearance on the surface. Cellulase is an expensive procedure — as much as $5,000 per treatment — and may take multiple treatments before you’re delighted.
  • Exfoliation: Several different techniques are non-invasive. Your dermatologist can show you how to perform them most effectively. Dry brushing is one technique that, over time, can reduce the appearance of cellulite. Take a dry body brush and swipe it in an upwards motion towards your heart to stimulate your lymphatic system and boost circulation. Coffee rubs also are popular exfoliates that can take off sheer layers of skin and make the bumps less noticeable.
  • Vanquish: This is a non-invasive procedure that relies on directed radio frequencies to deliver heat to the fat cells that are bunched together in the cellulite patches under your skin. It’s painless and quick and also tightens your skin while removing the cellulite. You can get a Vanquish treatment in your New York dermatologist’s office and 30 minutes later be back at work. You may feel a slightly heated sensation during the procedure, and it may take more than one treatment to satisfy your goals. Vanquish isn’t as expensive as Cellulase but can run as high as $500 to $800 for each treatment.
  • Zwave: The most recent procedure approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Zwave is most effective on mild and moderate cellulite cases. It relies on a series of radial shockwaves aimed at the pockets of cellulite on your body. The heat generated from the shockwaves breaks apart the skin that surrounds the bumpy pockets of fat. Eventually, the whole structure holding the fat in place collapses. You may see minor improvements after only a couple of treatments that take about 30 minutes in your skin doctor’s office. Everyone reacts differently, and you may need as many as 10 sessions that cost about $450 each. Dermatologists around New York see great results with Zwave, which also may be used in conjunction with other treatments for longer-lasting, more effective results.

Cosmetic Treatments

Cellulite removal is not dermatology but a cosmetic procedure and isn’t covered by your insurance. And if you think that you might sneak in a little cellulite removal when you undergo plastic surgery like liposuction, think again. Liposuction does not remove cellulite. In fact, your thinner body may make cellulite more noticeable.

Talk to your dermatologist about a referral to a plastic surgeon familiar with skin conditions. Good plastic surgeons work closely with dermatologists because liposuction combined with laser treatment shows great promise for permanently removing cellulite. Laser-assisted liposuction also is less invasive than traditional liposuction and has the added benefit of tightening your skin while removing the unsightly fatty deposits of cellulite.

Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not definitive medical advice. Please consult dermatologist NYC about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board-certified dermatology doctor or pediatric dermatologist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Updated on Mar 7, 2023 by Dr. Susan Bard (Dermatologist), Manhattan Dermatology Specialists Locations: Manhattan Dermatology (Upper East Side) 983 Park Ave, Ste 1D1, NY 10028
(212) 427-8750
Manhattan Dermatology (Midtown) 56 W 45th St, Ste 819, NY 10036
(212) 889-2402
Manhattan Dermatology (Union Square) 55 W 17th St, Ste 103, NY 10011
(212) 378-9984
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY The information on this website is to provide general information. The information on this website does NOT reflect definitive medical advice and self diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a physician for a consultation and examination regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs you may be having. An accurate diagnosis and treatment plan should only be made by your physician in order to exclude a serious condition.
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