There is a common misconception that cellulite and fat are the same. However, while sometimes related, they are two separate anatomical structures. Cellulite refers to a dimpling appearance on the skin while fat lays underneath the skin. Patients commonly come to Northwest Face & Body hoping to find a treatment for their cellulite. While many viable options exist, recently the first injectable cellulite treatment known as Qwo, launched. This injection promises to provide one of the most effective cellulite treatments to date. Northwest Face & Body presents the best Qwo Bellevue and Kirkland have to offer.
Cellulite forms when fat cells expand and press against the skin. This does not necessarily mean weight gain. In fact, weight loss and hormonal changes can also cause and exacerbate the look of cellulite. The connective tissue in the buttocks–known as fibrous septae–then pull down on the skin due to the added tension of the expanded fat. This creates divots and dimples in the skin. The fibrous septae are made primarily of collagen and connect the skin to other structures such as the muscle.
There is not one set cause of cellulite. Many factors contribute to the formation of cellulite, some you can control and others which you cannot. Normally, no one factor causes cellulite to appear. Examples of what can cause or aid in the development of cellulite include:
Treating cellulite is notoriously difficult. While fat contributes to the development of cellulite, removing fat via liposuction or weight loss will not always improve cellulite. Other methods such as creams or lotions only treat cellulite on the surface. Cellulite treatments include:
With so many possibilities for treatment and behind the cause of your cellulite, determining the best cellulite treatment can become overwhelming. Even with professional help, cellulite reduction is often trial and error. What is the best treatment for cellulite?
Before the development of Qwo, the most effective method to get rid of cellulite was a procedure known as subcision. During this procedure, the provider will insert a needle just beneath the skin and break up the fibrous bands. This releases pressure on the skin to reduce the appearance of cellulite. The results tend to last around two years and sometimes longer.
Qwo is the first injectable treatment for cellulite. Prior treatments consisted of uncomfortable, invasive, or ineffective methods. Qwo provides a non-surgical, non-invasive solution that provides results comparable to subcision and other more invasive methods. An injectable, or non-surgical technique, that provides these results was unavailable before the introduction of Qwo.
Additionally, many of the aforementioned treatments such as various creams and treatments do not necessarily have FDA approval to treat cellulite. Some, like subcision do have approval. However, many of the least invasive options available do not have FDA approval for treating cellulite. This is where Qwo comes in. It is the first non-invasive, FDA approved method for diminishing cellulite.
Qwo is known to treat moderate to severe cellulite. What exactly does this mean? To explain, there are three types of cellulite broken down into four different grades. The types of cellulite are soft cellulite, hard cellulite, and edematous cellulite.
Soft cellulite is a common type of cellulite often associated with sagging skin. This is the cellulite that may be most affected by weight gain or lack of muscle tone. Therefore, for mild forms of this cellulite, exercise and losing weight may benefit. Generally, this cellulite is not visible when standing up and does not hurt. Soft cellulite is most commonly found in the natural fatty areas of the body including the buttocks, abdomen, legs, hips, and arms. Qwo can treat moderate to severe forms of soft cellulite.
Hard cellulite is best known for creating the orange peel effect when pinched. This type of cellulite can occur even in the fittest women and often will not get better with weight loss. It most frequently appears on the thighs, hips, and buttocks. In some severe cases, hard cellulite can feel hard and painful. This type of cellulite may be genetic and often is extremely difficult to treat. Qwo is among one of the most effective options for treating hard cellulite long term.
Finally, edematous cellulite is the rarest form of cellulite. This is usually caused by poor blood circulation and fluid retention. It also most commonly occurs in the lower legs, though may also be seen in the thighs or hips. The best treatment for this cellulite is to improve blood circulation and address any underlying medical problems. Qwo is generally not helpful for treating edematous cellulite long term.
The grades of cellulite range from 0 to 3. Grade 0 encompasses invisible or nearly invisible cellulite while Grade 3 incorporates the most severe cellulite where dimples may appear large and deep. Qwo most commonly treats Grades 2 and 3, though may show improvement in more mild cases of cellulite. Your provider can determine if you may benefit from Qwo injections in Bellevue during a consultation.
At a consultation, your provider will discuss your concerns and goals for the procedure. They may then ask about your medical history and any allergies you have. Your provider will then examine the cellulite on the buttocks to determine if Qwo injections would be a good fit for treating your cellulite.
Occasionally, treatment can commence in the same appointment. Otherwise, you will receive a customized plan for your Qwo injections including the cost of your initial round of injections. Your provider will also explain the procedure and expected outcome
A round of Qwo injections typically takes place in three separate sessions. Depending on the severity and how spread out your cellulite is, you may require more than one round of treatment for the best results. Though, your provider will discuss this with you at your consultation.
For your first appointment, you will undress as necessary and lay on your stomach in one of our private treatment rooms. General anesthesia is unnecessary and topical anesthetics are available, but generally not needed. The Qwo injections are subcutaneous, which means that they only go below the skin and do not reach the muscle. This makes them less painful than other types of injections. If you chose numbing cream, you will wait approximately 15 to 20 minutes to numb. Otherwise, your provider will disinfect the injection sites and begin treatment.
Carefully inserting the needle into the dimple or dimpled area, your provider will inject a third of the Qwo at a perpendicular angle. Pulling the needle back, but not removing it, your provider will then shift the needle so it faces towards your head. Your provider will then repeat this process with the needle facing towards your feet.
Depending on your treatment plan, your provider may repeat this for other dimples or areas. Generally, two areas of cellulite can be addressed during each round of treatment. A single appointment may consist of up to 12 injections.
Qwo does not require any recovery or downtime. You may experience some minor side effects such as bruising, swelling, and redness. Some soreness is possible but usually minimal. If you have bruising or uncomfortable side effects, they will likely become less severe with the next treatment. Any side effects also generally resolve within one to two weeks.
Otherwise, patients can return to their daily activities. While it is perfectly fine to exercise, if you experience bruising or swelling, you may consider taking it easy for your comfort and to let the side effects resolve quicker.
No, not usually. Cellulite itself is not dangerous or concerning. While it is more common in people with certain conditions, this likely has to do with hormones or weight fluctuations as a result of those conditions. Also, outside medical factors usually cause edematous cellulite. However, this cellulite will often resolve or get better with adequate treatment of those conditions.
Currently, no permanent solution for cellulite exists. This is mainly because the factors that cause cellulite vary as do weight, medical conditions, and lifestyle. All of these aspects influence cellulite development and changes in them are not always predictable or controllable. However, early studies and clinical trials have shown that Qwo is likely effective for at least a year, with preliminary results showing that efficacy may last for many years.
Yes, it’s usually fine to use cellulite creams or other treatments after or between Qwo sessions. You should discuss what treatments you plan to use with your provider to make sure that they are safe and will not hinder your Qwo results.
An appointment for Qwo injections can take as little as ten minutes. On average, they last between 15 and 25 minutes. If you opt for numbing cream, the appointment may last up to 30 to 40 minutes.
One round of Qwo treatment includes three appointments of up to 12 injections spaced around 21 days apart. After you finish the three appointments, you and your provider will follow up about a month later to observe the results and determine if more rounds are necessary. In some cases, if you have severe cellulite, your provider might know right away if you need more rounds. They can discuss this during your consultation.
Treating cellulite takes patience and time. Previously, no non-invasive treatment garnered long term or effective results. Northwest Face & Body proudly offers Qwo injections in Bellevue and Kirkland. Our providers are among the most highly trained in the Northwest and combined perform hundreds of cosmetic injections every week.
Northwest Face & Body has served the Eastside’s surgical and non-surgical cosmetic needs for three decades. Dr. Ludwig Allegra is a talented cosmetic surgeon and injector that can provide the top cellulite treatment in Bellevue and Kirkland.