What is cellulite?

Cellulite is a normal fat storage pattern that is very common in women. 80-90% of women have cellulite, which is fat stored in pockets that are held in place by connective fibers. This leads to a dimpled appearance on the surface of the skin as well as a “cottage cheese” or “orange peel” appearance. It occurs most often on the thighs, hips, buttocks, and stomach. Cellulite can be exacerbated by weight gain but is not primarily caused by weight. Even women with a relatively low amount of fat can have cellulite. Many factors can influence how severe cellulite appears but the cause is mainly genetics. Skin loses elasticity with age and this can also make cellulite appear worse.

Treatments for cellulite

There are many different products and devices on the market that claim to reduce cellulite. Most of them have not been rigorously tested. Any product that you put on the surface of your skin to reduce cellulite can never actually change the way fat is stored. Creams can plump up areas of the skin to temporarily make cellulite less visible but the connective bands that hold fat in place remain. Overall, cellulite creams have not been proven to be effective at treating cellulite.

Caffeine is one ingredient frequently found in cellulite products. This is because caffeine dilates blood vessels and can temporarily make the skin look more toned. It also makes skin look smoother by reducing water retention. If you really want to try an at-home treatment then using coffee grounds on the skin is one way to do it without purchasing an expensive cream.

Liposuction involves removing deeper fat deposits surgically with a cannula, often with the assistance of heat to liquefy the fat. Since cellulite is fat stored closer to the surface of the skin, liposuction is not an effective treatment option and can actually make cellulite worse.

Some medical spas offer cellulite reduction treatments that involve massage and some kind of treatment that plumps the skin. Like most of the options, this will temporarily improve appearance but not get rid of cellulite.

There are several non-invasive fat reduction procedures available that can get rid of stubborn fat. Again, these will not get rid of cellulite. They may however make it less noticeable by reducing the amount of fat in the area. You can learn more about non-invasive options here.

Lifestyle changes that can improve cellulite appearance

Eating healthy and exercising can help diminish the appearance of cellulite. Although the way that fat is stored will remain the same, the amount of fat that is there can be reduced. Staying hydrated can help improve skin texture and stop your body from retaining too much water. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your skin healthy.

Long-term reduction of cellulite with Cellfina

Since cellulite may reappear no matter how much you diet or exercise, the only way to reduce cellulite long-term is to cut the connective bands. Cellfina is an innovative treatment that does exactly that. During the procedure the doctor will use the handheld Cellfina device to cut the bands that are holding the cellulite dimples in place. You can watch a video of how Cellfina works below.


Advanced Dermatology, P.C. was among the first practices to adopt the Cellfina technology and several of our board-certified dermatologists and plastic surgeons now perform the procedure.

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