These Two Treatments Can Actually Eliminate Cellulite

Stefanie Lee | 15 Jul 2015

Somewhere between Peter Paul Rubens and the advent of Photoshop, dimpled thighs came to be considered a full-blown affliction. With no known cure—until, perhaps, now.

Credit: La Petite Day Spa & Boutique

Two new treatments, Xiaflex and Cellfina, can actually destroy the septae, or bands beneath the skin, that contribute to cellulite. Here, we break down the two treatments.


Credit: Get Glammed Up

What it is: An injectable enzyme already approved by the FDA for treating a hand condition, Xiaflex is now being tested in clinical trials for dissolving septa and smoothing butts and thighs.

Proof it works: In one trial, 150 women received three treatments, three weeks apart, of Xiaflex or a placebo. In each real treatment, up to 12 mild-, medium-, or high-dose injections were placed in dimples in one thigh or buttock. “There was was some bruising but no pain,” says Michael H. Gold, a Nashville dermatologist who participated in the trial. Sixty-eight percent of patients who received medium or high doses reported being satisfied or very satisfied, compared with half that for placebo patients. “Xiaflex could be a game changer for cellulite,” says Gold.


Credit: Cellfina

What it is: A device that snips pucker-causing bands on the skin. It’s the first technology cleared by the FDA for improvement of cellulite that lasts at least one year. Each dimple (the average patient has 15 to 25) is marked with a circle the size of a silver dollar. The device delivers a shot of lidocaine to numb the area and then, with a suction, grabs the circle and slides a tiny needle under the skin to cut the septae. “Patients report that it feels no different than getting a shot of filler,” says Simeon Wall Jr., a plastic surgeon in Shreveport, Lousiana, who is participating in a Cellfina trial. There is typically no bleeding and only minimal bruising, and 25 dimples can be treated in one hour, says Michael Kaminer, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine. Repeat treatments are not necessary. In a clinical study, Tylenol was the only painkiller necessary.

Proof it works: So far the device works best on the buttocks. “It’s magic there,” says Wall. However, the technology hasn’t yet been tested on larger areas, like the thighs, which tend to have more diffuse puckering rather than distinct individual dimples. And if you want this treatment, you’re going to have to pay a pretty penny. One treatment costs between $3,000 and $6,000, depending on how many areas are treated.



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