A New Wave Of Cellulite Treatments Has Arrived

Say hello to a smoother future.

MINI JOURNEY: The New Wave of Cellulite Treatments Are Here

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Cellulite is very common — between 80 and 90 percent of all women who have gone through puberty have developed it — and yet, it continues to be an area of insecurity for so many. And while there are more than a handful of skin firming creams and lotions that promise to reduce the appearance of cellulite, none of them actually work. They may help to slightly reduce the appearance of some dimples and smooth out uneven texture, but they can't penetrate the necessary layers of skin and reorganize the bands that cause cellulite in the first place.

The only treatments that can target and treat cellulite are in-office treatments and a select few at-home radiofrequency devices. And while some have been around for quite some time, there's a brand new slew of treatments that can help people achieve the smooth, dimple-free legs and derrieres of their dreams.

Below, experts share the new types of cellulite treatments that exist and break down how they work.

Recombinant enzymes

It's not too often that a breakthrough is described as revolutionary in the medical world, but Marisol Saavedra, MD, MBA, a London-based aesthetic doctor uses that word to describe how recombinant enzymes work to treat cellulite.

She explains that they were developed through a specific process of recombination technology and uses a combination of three enzymes: colagenase, lipases, and hyaluronidase. Together, they smooth, tighten, slim, and drain localized areas.

Dr. Saavedra says that the treatment begins with a standard patient analysis where they capture photos of the treatment areas and circle the areas that need to be injected. "This treatment causes mild to moderate pain, so we apply numbing cream to the treatment area for about five to 10 minutes prior to the injections while we prepare the enzymes," she says. Then, after the area is sanitized, the doctor will inject them with a tiny needle.

Post-treatment, Dr. Saavedra says it's normal for there to be mild bruising and swelling for up to five days. For the best results, patients typically need between three to six sessions once a week. "The results are visible after the first treatment session and they're long-lasting," she adds.


Forget the idea of having to go into your plastic surgeon or dermatologist's office several times to see results. Avéli is an FDA-cleared and minimally invasive treatment that reduces the appearance of cellulite in just one treatment.

Sadyk Fayz, PA-C, a Manhattan-based board-certified Aesthetic Physician Associate at Beso Aesthetics, explains that it works by cutting the connective tissue bands that pull on the skin and create cellulite dimples via a hand-held device. It's what's used for treatments such as AirSculpt Smooth.

"Our patients have an initial consult with one of our surgeons to determine candidacy and identify the areas for treatment. Once a procedure is booked, it couldn't be easier. During pre-op, patients are given a local anesthesia. Once in the procedure, our patients are awake the entire time, chatting with the nurses and surgeons and listening to their favorite playlist," says Aaron Rollins, MD, founder of AirSculpt Technologies. "Our process is to create a very small entry point that is the size of a freckle. There are no needles, no scalpels and no stitches and our patients are back to work in 24-48 hours." And once the swelling goes down, the results can be seen immediately.


As the first and only FDA-approved injectable for cellulite, this treatment made waves. Board-certified dermatologist, Kim Nichols, MD, previously explained to InStyle that QWO is an enzyme that, in liquid form, breaks down the collagen in the fibrous bands, which are the bands under the skin that pull down on subcutaneous fat and cause cellulite. As such, QWO's enzyme works by targeting the buildup of collagen in those bands.

Board-certified dermatologist, Bruce Katz, MD, of JUVA Skin and Laser Center, had also previously shared that QWO requires three sessions and that each takes about 10 minutes, depending on how many injections are required.

Currently, QWO is only FDA-approved for the buttocks area. However, both doctors say it can be used off-label to treat cellulite in other areas of the body, such as the thighs and stomach. And while the treatment is touted as relatively painless, there have been reports of bruising that last more than that of your typical bump as the enzymes break down the fibrous bands, the small veins around them get hit and cause bruising.

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