One of the main reasons why suburban Detroit women visit our practice is to improve the appearance of their cellulite. What is cellulite, and why is it a problem for women far more than for men?

The Development of Cellulite

The appearance of cellulite is related to fat cells, but in a more complex way than just typical weight gain. In some cases, weight loss can help, but not always; cellulite can appear even in naturally slender women. Cellulite is actually caused by a combination of factors.

Above the fatty tissue layer is a fibrous web of connective tissue. As the fat cells expand below, the effect is just like pressing a fish net over a pillow: the softer tissue is pressed up through any openings, creating a lumpy appearance.

In women, this connective tissue has a honeycomb pattern with larger openings. However, in men, the pattern is a closer mesh, so the effects aren’t as pronounced. The appearance of cellulite also seems related to hormone levels, since men with hormone imbalances are more likely to develop cellulite, and women develop more as their estrogen levels fluctuate with age.

How Treatments Help

Until recently, there wasn’t really a solution for getting rid of cellulite. Now, we offer two great cosmetic options for women who have tried everything to get rid of those lumps and bumps: Cellulaze™ and Thermage®.

Cellulaze™ works by inserting a small laser fiber under the skin to release the connective tissue strands that are forcing the fat into a dimpled pattern. Thermage® is a completely noninvasive procedure that uses radio frequency waves to relax the connective tissue, minimizing the pressure on the fatty tissue so the dimpled pattern becomes less distinct. Thermage® also stimulates collagen production for a smoother look.