Cellulite is a result of the complex interplay between fat cells, thickness of the skin, and fibrous septae or bands found in the dermis. The dimpling of cellulite is caused by bands of collagen, or septae, that tether the skin to the muscle. This multi-factorial condition causes irregularity in the appearance of the surface of the skin often referred to as “cottage cheese” or “orange peel.”
The hallmark of cellulite is lumps or waviness from fat that is trapped by these fibrous septae. These fibrous bands pull the skin downwards causing the “dimpling” of cellulite and the trapped fat causes a contour irregularity of the skin or loss of the smooth appearance. Patients most commonly complain of cellulite of the buttocks and thighs.
The exact cause of cellulite is unknown. Diet and lifestyle may have an impact on cellulite as a high fat and carbs will cause excess fat in the skin. However, even those with a strict diet and exercise routine still suffer from cellulite.
Genetic risk plays a major role in whether or not you have cellulite. Therefore you may suffer from stubborn cellulite even if you lose weight, eat healthy or exercise regularly. If you suffer from cellulite, you are not alone – 9 out of 10 women have cellulite.
Qwo at Pure Dermatology with Dr. Holcomb and Dr. Haseltine is the world’s first and only FDA-approved injectable for the treatment of cellulite. Qwo, injected at Pure Dermatology by our Board-certified dermatologists and trained practitioners, works by selectively disrupting the fibrous septae responsible for creating cellulite dimple. These fibrous septae then dissolve from the injected enzyme which results in a smoother appearance of the treated skin. Qwo injections at Pure Dermatology have been FDA-approved to treat dimples, aka cellulite, on the buttocks. Qwo is generally administered a series of three injections in the office performed every 3 weeks. There is no anesthesia and no surgery.
The mechanism of action of Qwo injections is to release the septae that cause skin dimpling and smooth the appearance of cellulite. Qwo is an injectable formulation consisting of two enzymes (AUX-I and AUX-II) that degrade collagen. When Qwo is injected into the skin of the buttocks, these two enzymes break up the collagen-rich fibrous septae. This is known as Enzymatic Subcision and Remodeling or ESR. After degradation of the septae, the fat can be redistributed and the bumpy appearance of cellulite becomes smoother. In addition, Qwo stimulates the production of new healthy collagen which further improves the appearance and tightness of the skin.
At Pure Dermatology, we customize your cellulite treatment and determine if you need injection with Qwo, tightening with Profound, or collagen stimulation with Sculptra Aesthetic. Pure Dermatology also has or other treatments directed at fat reduction like truSculpt iD or Kybella.
Sculptra Aesthetic is an in-office injection made from poly-L-lactic acid. Sculptra Aesthetic has been FDA approved for cosmetic use since 2004. It is used off-label at Pure Dermatology to smooth cellulite and dimpling. Sculptra Aesthetic helps stimulate the body to produce its own collagen and thus fill the dimples and skin irregularity seen with cellulite and skin laxity. Your body absorbs Sculptra naturally and works to replace lost collagen. The physical action of injecting the Sculptra can also manually break up some of the fibrous bands.
The Profound radiofrequency device offered at Pure Dermatology couples radiofrequency energy with a microneedling delivery system to the deep layer of the skin that is clinically proven to stimulate the development of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. The production of these major building blocks of our skin slows down as we age. Profound can also deliver radiofrequency energy to the subcutaneous (or fat) layer of the skin and fibrous septae of the fat layer. Delivering energy to this layer of the skin allows the Profound® to successfully treat cellulite with clinical studies showing 94% improvement in a single treatment.
There are advertised topical creams that can temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite by moisturizing and increasing blood flow to the skin. There are also rollers and the fascia blaster which can increase lymphatic drainage and reduce swelling in the tissues to also temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite. If you are looking for a less invasive and more effective approach, there are many laser treatments that can reduce cellulite by tightening skin. This is more of a camouflage approach and will require maintenance treatments.
Qwo is FDA approved for treatment on the buttocks, and there are also treatment protocols that are effective for posterior thighs.
Qwo injectable treatments are quick and easy! The injections take approximately 10 minutes. Plan about an hour for your first treatment as it takes longer to photograph and mark your cellulite dimples. We like to make sure that we have a lot of good before and after photos (some wearing pale leggings) to track your amazing progress!
Qwo is very safe procedure. Bruising and tenderness are expecited. Tenderness may feel like soreness from an intense workout. Very rarely nodules, or firm spots, can form but these resolve within 7-10 days. Hyperpigmentation can also occur. We recommend speaking with your doctor on how to reduce the likelihood of these side effects which are not serious.
Patients who have undergone QWO injections at Pure Dermatology with Dr. Holcomb and Dr. Haseltine typically have bruising that can last one to two weeks after the first treatment and there is mild to moderate swelling as well. There can be moderate soreness for which we recommend ibuprofen or Tylenol. However, patients may resume their active lifestyle and exercise the next day after being treated with Qwo.
Qwo is FDA-approved for female patients only, as the clinical trials were only performed in women. The ideal patient has true cellulite dimples, and not dimpling which caused by laxity or sagging skin. Laxity is loosening of the skin that can be caused by age and sun damage. If when you can pull upward gently on the skin, and the dimple goes away, this may be a sign that the dimple is caused by laxity. If the dimple stays when pulling up gently on the skin then that is cellulite. We have other options to treat laxity at Pure Dermatology which your doctor can discuss with you at your booty makeover consult. Treatments include Sculptra Aesthetic injection on the thighs and buttocks or radiofrequenct microneedling with Profound RF treatment.
In clinical studies, patients were treated up to 3 times with Qwo with each treatment spaced 3 weeks apart. Patients may see an improvement as early as three weeks after their injections. Peak results are about 3 months after completion of your last treatment.
Most patient require more than one treatment with Qwo.
If you find yourself being bothered about your cellulite, then book a consult to discuss Qwo with the experts at Pure Dermatology. We offer FREE consultations and package pricing.
Because the amount of injections and the additional treatments that may be required for treatment of cellulite, each treatment at Pure Dermatology is customized to the patient. We offer FREE consultations for cellulite treatment to help you determine your exact plan.