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Cellulite: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Jun 15, 2024

What is the treatment?

Cellulite is the lumpy, dimpled flesh on the thighs, buttocks, hips and abdomen. It is not a serious or painful condition. However, cellulite can embarrass you and make you self conscious. It is mostly seen in adolescent and adult females. It tends to run in the family. Fat cells inside the organs accumulate and push up against the skin creating an uneven surface or dimpling. There is no need to treat cellulite as it causes no harm to your body but you can see a dermatologist or plastic surgeon if it embarrasses you. There are several treatments available to get rid of it. These are weight loss, lasers and radio frequency systems, liposuction, topical treatment and ultrasound.

How is the treatment done?

If you are overweight or obese, losing weight will help you lose some cellulite. Remember that doing this will not make it go away completely but will just reduce it. Lasers and radio frequency systems are the most popular way of treating cellulite. Tissue massage, radiofrequency technology and infrared light are combined by one system to treat cellulite. Another system will deliver combined tissue massage with diode laser energy. Radiofrequency at deep and superficial levels will be used by yet another system to treat cellulite. During liposuction, tiny incisions will be made in your skin. A narrow tube will be inserted through them to suck out the fat cells. 0.3 percent retinol cream is also known to improve the appearance of cellulite when applied twice a day for six months. Ultrasound is a non invasive procedure that reduces fat from thighs and abdomen by the use of sound waves.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

If you have extra and lumpy fat on your thighs, buttocks, hips or abdomen; you may go for cellulite reduction treatment.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Do not go for any such treatment if you are pregnant. Also, if you are going through some other medical treatment involving surgery, wait for it to subside before starting with this treatment.


Are there any side effects?

In some cases, liposuction can go horribly wrong and worsen the appearance of cellulite. Retinol cream may cause temporary redness or itching in your skin. Lasers and radio frequency may also cause minor irritation in skin.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Follow the instructions of your dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Keep the treated area covered for a few days in order to protect the area from any harmful particles.

How long does it take to recover?

Retinol cream takes six months to show effects. Results of ultrasound can be seen in about two to three months. Liposuction and lasers and radio frequency systems may show immediate results.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Liposuction costs ₹70000 - ₹300000 depending on the area that is to be treated. 0.3 percent retinol cream costs around ₹1000 for 150ml. Ultrasound costs around ₹50000 - ₹120000.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Treatment through lasers and radio frequency systems lasts for about six months. Results from other treatments are mostly permanent.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

You can leave your cellulite untreated as it is not harmful for your body. You can also try some home remedies to get rid of it. Lipomassage is one such way. A hand held machine is used to knead the skin between the rollers. It increases blood flow, removes toxins and reduces excess fluid in cellulite prone areas. There are several over the counter creams that claim to treat cellulite. You can give few of them a try.


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Written ByDr. Sumit Agrawal MS - General Surgery,MCh - Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery,MBBSCosmetic/Plastic Surgery
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