Cellulite is a skin change that is claimed to occur in most (80-90%) women. It presents as a
modification of skin appearance evident by skin dimpling and nodularity (like peau de
orange) that occurs mainly in women on the pelvic region, lower limbs, and abdomen and is
caused by the herniation of subcutaneous fat within fibrous connective tissue, leading to a padded
or orange peel-like appearance. Cellulite is a description rather than a physical object. The term
was first used in the 1920s.
Its existence as a real disorder has been questioned, and the prevailing medical opinion is that it
is merely the "normal condition of many women and some men". It is rarely seen in males, but is
more common in males with androgen-deficient states such as Klinefelter's syndrome, hypogonadism,
post-castration states and in those patients receiving estrogen therapy for prostate cancer. The
cellulite becomes more severe as the androgen deficiency worsens in these males.
Medically, this condition also called: Adiposis
Edematosa, Dermopanniculosis Deformans, and Gynoid Lipodystrophy.
The causes of cellulite are poorly understood and may involve changes in metabolism and physiology
such as gender specific dimorphic skin architecture, alteration of connective tissue structure,
hormonal factors, genetic factors, the microcirculatory system, the extracellular matrix, and
subtle inflammatory alterations:
A- Hormonal factors: Hormones play a
dominant role in the formation of cellulite. Estrogen may be the important hormone and
initiate and aggravate cellulite. However, there has been no reliable clinical evidence to
support such a claim. Other hormones including insulin, the catecholamine adrenaline and
nor-adrenaline, thyroid hormones, and prolactin are all believed to participate in the
development of cellulite.
B- Genetic factors: There is a genetic
element in individual susceptibility to cellulite. Researchers have traced the genetic
component of cellulite to particular polymorphisms in the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE)
and hypoxia-inducible factor 1A (HIF1a) genes.
C- Predisposing factors: Several
factors have been shown to affect the development of cellulite. Gender, race, biotype,
distribution of subcutaneous fat, and predisposition to lymphatic and circulatory
insufficiency have all been shown to contribute to cellulite.
D- Diet: Dieting has shown to have
variable effects on improving or worsening the appearance of
E- Lifestyle: A high stress lifestyle
will cause an increase in the level of catecholamine, which have also been associated with
the evolution of cellulite.
F- Clothing: Wearing tight underwear
enhances cellulite formation by impeding the flow of lymphatic fluid in the hips and
Numerous therapies for the treatment of cellulite are available, but the empirical evidence for the
efficacy of these strategies is limited. i.e. “At this point, there is no outstanding
treatment for cellulite.”
Some of these therapies include:
1.Methylxanthines: are a group of
chemicals that include aminophylline, caffeine, and theophyilline. These chemicals are
present in many cellulite creams and are promoted as treatments for cellulite because of
their known ability to break down fat stores.
However, skin creams cannot deliver the required concentration of these chemicals for the length of
time required for significant fat breakdown.
2.Dietary supplements: Several of
these products have been marketed and contain a variety of ingredients such as ginkgo
biloba, sweet clover, grape-seed bioflavonoid, bladder wrack extract, oil of evening
primrose, fish oil, and soy lecithin.
These preparations have positive effects on the body such as boosting metabolism, improving
circulation, protecting against cell damage, and breaking down fats. Because these products are
sold as dietary supplements and not as drugs, they are not subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are therefore exempt from meeting the scientific standards
for both safety and effectiveness that are applied to drugs.
Furthermore, there are no valid clinical studies to support the use of these dietary supplements
for the treatment of cellulite.
3.Massage treatments: Several machines
have been introduced that massage the areas affected by cellulite. These machines use rolling
cylinders to gather areas of skin and massage them inside a chamber. One example of massage
treatments is Endermologie, which was developed in France and has been used
for cellulite treatment. This technique uses an electrically powered device that suctions,
pulls, and squeezes affected areas. Treatments are expensive and typically last for 30-45
minutes, and 10-12 treatments are typically required before results are noticeable. While a
temporary decrease in the appearance of cellulite may occur, the technique appears to
redistribute fat rather than permanently alter its configuration under the skin. Regular
maintenance treatments are required after the initial effect has been achieved or the
appearance of cellulite will return. Endermologie has been approved by the U.S. FDA for
temporary reduction in the appearance of cellulite. LPG is also an ideal device to treat cellulite.
4.Laser or light therapy: The FDA has
approved low-level laser (Diode LASER) or light-therapy devices that combine suction or
massage with light therapy for the temporary reduction of the appearance of cellulite. Like
Endermologie, these treatments require multiple treatment sessions and maintenance treatments
to keep up the improved appearance.
5.Mesotherapy: Mesotherapy is a
controversial treatment for cellulite that involves injecting drugs or other substances
directly into affected tissue. Herbs and vitamins are often used as well in the injection
cocktails. Multiple injections over multiple (typically 10 or more) sessions are
6.Collagenase: Collagenase is a
naturally-occurring enzyme in the body that breaks down collagen, a component of connective
tissue (the tissues that bind our cells together). A study in 2006 suggested that injections
with this enzyme may be beneficial in improving the appearance of cellulite. The long-term
effects of these injections are still unknown, and studies have not yet been carried out to
determine the extent and duration of the improvements, if any.
7.Cellulite diets: Special "cellulite
diets" have been proposed that claim to be effective in treating cellulite. Arguments for
these diets claim that the combination of foods in the diet can reduce inflammation and
improve circulation in affected areas and diminish cellulite.
8.Wraps: Many spa centers offer herbal
or other types of body wraps as treatments for cellulite. Like cellulite diets, their effects
have not been proven or reported in controlled studies in the medical literature. While wraps
may decrease fluid retention and improve the overall appearance of skin, these effects are
How Much Do Cellulite
Treatment Typically Cost?
Although price is a factor when deciding on surgery, the most important factor is that you feel you
are getting a good quality, natural-looking result from the procedure.
Cellulite treatment costs are variable according to the deformity and the used technique. Usually
the cost is ranging from 500 to 1500 U.S. dollars. When dealing with costs, you also need to take
into consideration the fact that the procedure may need to be repeated. Most medical insurance
providers do not cover the procedure.
FAQ from patients when considering undergoing Cellulite
Q - What is the type of
anesthesia, and when I can return to normal life?
- Local anesthesia, and you can practice your normal life within
Q - What are the
symptoms that may occur in the first five days after Cellulite injection or LASER
A - Soreness
which could be managed by pain killer’s medications and there may be edema or swelling.
Q - What are the
guarantees that the success of the process?
There is no doubt that the followers of the medical instructions and
close follow up visits are the main factors for the success of any surgical procedure.
Q - When can we get the
A - The
final results is achieved after the first three weeks.
Q - What is ideal age
for Cellulite Management?
A - It could be done at any age.
Q - If you are not
Egyptian, What is the minimum period for follow up?
- One day for each session.
Q - What are the
contraindications of Cellulite treatment procedures?
- There are no absolute contraindications but the patients should
inform their surgeons about any allergies, serious medical conditions, and medications they may be
Q - Where will the
Cellulite treatment procedures be performed?
In hospital or may be in outpatient bases (clinic).
Q - In my case, what
amount is most appropriate in helping me achieve my cosmetic goal?
A - It depend on the your age, Cellulite
features and your preference.
Q - How much does
Cellulite treatment procedure cost and what elements factor into that cost like hospital fees,
anesthesia, and so on?
A - Ranging from 500 to 1500 U.S. dollars. Medical insurance dose not cover these
Q - What is the
surgeon’s level of experience in performing Cellulite treatment
A - Consultant or Doctoral in Plastic surgery.
Q - What percentage of
patients experience complications with Cellulite treatment procedures?
A - 1 - 5%
Cellulite treatment (Adiposis Edematosa) Procedures:
The time of the procedure: from half to two hours.
Type of anesthesia: No or local anesthesia +/- sedation.
Location: hospital or clinic without postoperative hospital stay.
Expected Side effects: Temporary swelling and pain.
Recovery time: return to work after 2 hours and the final outcome
within 3 weeks.
according to procedure ranging from 500 to
1500 U.S. dollars.
usually permanent results.