Words are interesting things. They have great power to elicit any range of emotions from happy to sad, scared to safe, excited to bored. The word cellulite is one of those words with a very negative connotation. It has the power to incite feelings of dread and ignite low self-esteem in women all across the country. Countless hours are being spent at the gym by women trying to get rid of it, and millions of dollars are put towards trying to find a cure for the nightmare known as cellulite.
The truth is that 80 to 90% of women will have to deal with cellulite in their lifetime. Did you know that cellulite isn’t caused by what you eat or how much you do or don’t exercise? Some women are very thin and very fit who have cellulite. Cellulite is more apparent in women for several reasons.
But what exactly is cellulite? Picture in your mind two pieces of cloth. There is a thick layer of cotton between the two pieces of material. Now imagine a thread going from one piece of cloth to the other and being pulled tightly. Picture it happening all over the fabric, giving the fabric a quilted look.
This is the same concept with cellulite, but you have muscle and skin instead of two layers of fabric. Then replace the cotton with fat and the thread with fibrous bands of connective tissue, known as septae. This is what gives the skin of many women the cottage cheese or orange peel appearance. And lucky for us (women), it is a problem that we mainly deal with because men’s bodies are built differently. According to the Cleveland Clinic, less than 10% of men will have to face the struggle of cellulite. Go ahead. Take thirty seconds to feel frustrated over this fact, and then read on to find out some solutions for dealing with this problem we’ve been so very “blessed” with.
Now that we’ve talked about the problem, let’s talk about some of the solutions out there. I know I mentioned that even the fittest of people can get cellulite, so it might sound counterintuitive when I say that one of the best DIY ways to reduce the appearance of cellulite is to exercise. A good cardio and strength training routine can reduce body fat and help tone up your skin.
You may have heard that there are topical treatments out there that can help with the appearance of cellulite. As you age, your skin loses elasticity. Topical creams containing caffeine and retinol help improve the appearance of your skin, which can help improve the appearance of your cellulite, but it doesn’t deal with the leading cause of cellulite.
According to doctors, “the key is to attack the fibrous bands beneath the skin.” Surgery is an option that is available to treat cellulite. During surgery, cellulite is removed by inserting a needle or blade or another tool under the skin to break up fibrous bands. The results of this type of surgery can last 2 to 3 years. A less invasive treatment called Cellfina suctions up each dimple, allowing access for a small blade to disconnect the underlying connective tissue. The FDA says that this procedure can have results that may last up to five years. Other treatments include laser treatments and energy-based therapies. However, these treatments give results that last a year or less.
QWO- A Minimally Invasive Injectable
The newest and most groundbreaking treatment on the market is QWO. QWO is a new injectable that was approved by the FDA in July of 2020. It is meant for patients with moderate to severe cellulite. The QWO treatment includes “3 rounds of injections spaced 21 days apart.” According to the QWO website (qwo.com), the injections take less than 10 minutes. The injectible “is thought to release the fibrous septae.” By releasing the fibrous bands that are pulling on the skin, the visual appearance of cellulite is gone, and you are left with smooth-looking skin. Dr. Anne Chapas, a board-certified dermatologist from New York City, put it best when she said that QWO is “cutting edge cellulite treatment without the cutting.”
While cellulite isn’t a life-threatening condition, it can have major adverse effects on the mental wellbeing of those who have it. Everyone deserves to feel comfortable in their own skin, and if cellulite keeps you from feeling comfortable in yours, it is comforting to know that you have options for treating it. Talk to your board-certified dermatologist to find out what treatment is best for you.
Are you interested in learning more about QWO? Reach out to Dilworth Dermatology and Laser today.
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