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 Treatment

Cellulite Treatment · Dermatologist NYCCellulite is the lumpy or dimpled areas on your thighs, buttocks, and/or hips. While it is more common in women, it can also affect men. Cellulite is one of the more tricky skin conditions to treat because it’s caused by the breakdown of fibrous tissues in your skin. Because cellulite is considered a cosmetic condition, most insurance companies won’t cover cellulite treatments.

But the condition can cause significant self-esteem and self-confidence issues. Meet with your New York City dermatologist to talk about how to:

  • Treat your cellulite
  • Prevent it from worsening
  • Deal with the negative emotional impacts from cellulite

Preventing Cellulite

As with most medical conditions, working to prevent cellulite is the best treatment. But you can stop cellulite from worsening, and that may be a key component in the treatment plan you and your Manhattan dermatologist develop. With the advice and guidance of your NYC dermatologist, you can do several things on your own to help reduce your cellulite, including:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Decrease your alcohol consumption
  • Increase your consumption of vegetables — especially yams, yucca, peppers, radishes, and tomatoes
  • Take collagen supplements
  • Take magnesium supplements
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Include strength training into your workouts
  • Be wary of over-the-counter solutions and creams

Cellulite Diagnoses

Your dermatologist in New York City can diagnose the severity of your cellulite when you go in for your initial appointment. In order of increasing severity, the three levels of cellulite are:

  1. Adipose cellulite: Also known as soft cellulite, this cellulite is soft to the touch. It’s located on the surface of your skin’s layers. It’s the easiest cellulite condition to treat.
  2. Fibrotic cellulite: This condition is also known as hard cellulite. It’s firm and less visible to the naked eye. Smoking can cause this type of cellulite. Fibrotic cellulite is closer to the muscles and is, therefore, more difficult to treat.
  3. Oedematous cellulite: This cellulite is more common in older people. It’s caused by poor circulation and generally poor health. This cellulite requires lifestyle changes alongside treatments by your midtown Manhattan dermatologist.

Cellulite Treatment Options with Your Dermatologist

When you book your consultation with your dermatologist in New York, a diagnosis of cellulite is often easy to reach after a visual exam. Armed with a diagnosis of cellulite, a good dermatologist helps you decide on the best course of action.

To help you make the right decision, some of the treatment options are described below. These are the procedures that may be recommended by your Manhattan dermatologist. Each description includes:

  • Procedure details
  • Reasons why it might work for you
  • The duration of the treatment
  • Any pain associated with the procedure
  • Recovery time and expected results

Skin Fillers

Dermal fillers such as Radiesse most often are used to fight facial wrinkles, but they can reduce the visible appearance of cellulite as well. They work by injecting cultivated formulas specifically designed to smooth out depressions in your skin. This treatment may be recommended if your cellulite is mild to moderately soft. The procedure takes about 15 minutes, depending on the size of the area to be treated.

A local numbing cream is applied to the area, so the pain from the needle is minimal. Then your dermatologist injects the filler under the dermis and subcutis layers of your skin. Recovery from this treatment is minimal — perhaps a little swelling at the injection site for 24 to 36 hours.

Once the swelling subsides, you’ll notice an obvious reduction of the visible cellulite on your skin. There is a very rare risk of developing a benign nodule at the site of the injection, but your doctor can treat it with steroid medication. Dermal fillers are effective for six months to a year.


The Zwave procedures use a high-energy radial shockwave, which improves blood circulation and promotes collagen formation. As a result of these treatments, your skin becomes more elastic and firm, reducing visible cellulite. It’s typically recommended if your cellulite is mild to moderate. It works best on soft cellulite. The procedure takes between 15 and 30 minutes.

Zwave procedures aren’t painful, so they require no numbing cream. In fact, many patients have compared it to the sensations of a massage. You don’t need any recovery time, and there are no risks associated with Zwave treatments. You can see the results from your procedure as soon as the next day.


The Vanquish procedure is known as radiofrequency ablation since it uses high-frequency radio waves that heat and destroy fat tissue without harming the surrounding tissues. You won’t feel the heat because the wand used never touches your skin. This procedure is recommended for soft cellulite. Typically, you’ll need a series of four treatments one week apart. Each lasts about 30 minutes.

Vanquish treatments aren’t painful. You’re able to return to work immediately after your procedure. Minimal side effects include a temporary pink or red coloring of the treated area. Results are visible a couple of days to a week after treatment.


Cellulaze is a laser treatment that targets the fibrous connective tissues of your skin that cause cellulite. It’s one of the more reputable laser treatments, and it’s a more permanent solution than most. First, your Manhattan dermatologist numbs the area and makes a few tiny incisions. Then the laser is threaded through a small tube to directly target the site. The procedure takes an hour to an hour and a half.

Because a numbing cream is used, you’ll experience minimal pain. After your procedure, you may experience some bruising, but you should be able to go back to your normal activities. You may see results immediately, but your skin surface will continue to improve over the next year.


Mesotherapy is considered one of the most effective cellulite treatment options. It involves a series of injections directly into the cellulite of the target site. Each injects enzymes, vitamins, minerals, chemicals, hormones, and herbal extracts. Each procedure takes between 30 minutes to an hour.

You’ll be able to return to your daily routines immediately after your procedure. A numbing cream is applied to the injection site, and most people can tolerate the procedure. Because Mesotherapy isn’t yet regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), be sure to use only a reputable Mesotherapy-trained dermatologist in NYC. After a few treatments with Mesotherapy, you’ll notice a significant reduction of visible 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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