A: The good news: cellulite isn’t fat. The bad news: cellulite isn’t fat. Chalk it up to your X chromosome, ladies. Our bodies are structured such that the layer of fat underneath our skin contains connective bands perpendicular to the skin’s surface. When we stand up, these bands pull down, resulting in an uneven, puckered appearance.
“Cellulite forms during puberty, it can worsen with pregnancy or if you take birth control pills, and it can be more obvious with weight gain,” explains Dr. Jeremy Green, a Miami dermatologist, “but it’s a structural issue, so even girls who look like they’ve never eaten a cheeseburger can have cellulite.” Indeed, no amount of green juice or cycling can erase it.
Enter: Cellfina, an FDA-approved, one-time, 45-minute procedure in which the doctor uses a tiny blade to cut the cords that cause dimpling on the buttocks and thighs. “The idea is if you can treat those cords or fibrous tethers you can make cellulite look better or get rid of it entirely,” says Green. Results are dramatic and fairly fast, with changes noticeable in as little as a few days and lasting at least two years. (Patients involved in the clinical trials are still reaping the benefits five years later.) And while Cellfina does not address skin tightening (you’ll need an ultrasound or radiofrequency device for that), “it’s a slam-dunk for the dimples,” Green reports. Pain is tolerable (patients measure it as a three or four out of 10), and soreness, bruising, and swelling disappear within a few weeks. “I called a patient two days after the procedure to see how she was feeling, and she asked me if it was a publicly traded company,” Green says. “I asked her why, and she answered, ‘Because I’d buy stock in it.’”
The Violet Files shares everything you need to know about unsightly cellulite—including ways to make it disappear.