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What Is Cellulite?

Cellulite is a result of the complex interplay between fat cells, thickness of the skin, and fibrous septae or bands found in the dermis. 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. Because the cellulite is trapped fat and the fibrous septae do not change with diet or exercise, it is hard to get rid of cellulite on your own. There are now non-invasive treatments that can be performed in the office to treat cellulite.

What is QWO?

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 enzymatically disrupting the fibrous septae responsible for creating cellulit.  These fibrous septae then dissolve from the 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. Dr. Holcomb and Dr. Haseltine also use QWO off-label to treat cellulite of the back of the thighs.

What is ESR?

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.

What are in-office treatments for cellulite offered at Pure Dermatology in Metairie and New Orleans?

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.

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Do the home treatments for cellulite work?

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.

When can I expect to see the results from my QWO injections?

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. Most patient require more than one treatment with Qwo.

Downtime/Recovery from Qwo?

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.

How much does QWO cost?

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.

Cellulite Treatment Before & After

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