The term “cellulite” describes dimples, waves, bulges and hardening of the skin surface on the buttocks and thighs that lead to the typical “golf ball / mattress pattern” or even the well-known “orange peel skin”.
Unfairly, women are almost exclusively affected by this visual phenomenon – and this has anatomical reasons: The skin, as well as the connective and fatty tissue, of men and women is structured differently and thus adapted to different needs. Male connective tissue is arranged in a strongly networked form beneath the skin, whereby even larger amounts of fat can be tied together into a kind of smooth package. Female connective tissue is thinner and is structured horizontally. It resembles cage bars. In addition, there are larger fat cells in woman’s subcutaneous tissue that are collected in so-called fat chambers. They can expand ten-fold, e.g. during pregnancy. The overlying skin is far thinner in women than in men. As women’s connective tissue is elastic by nature, it is squeezed by the pressure of the fat chambers. As a result of the thin upper skin and the flexible dermis below the surface, they are clearly visible – as unsightly bulges or waves.
Additionally, the perpendicular bands of connective tissue are thickened and shortened by the continuous pressure of the fat and this pulls the skin inwards – deep dimples or “holes” form on the surface. With advancing age or in case of extreme weight fluctuations, the skin loses its elasticity and appears “too large” and saggy. Not infrequently this appears as fine waves or in visible wrinkles, e.g. above the knee.
Influences that can exacerbate cellulite
Genetic predisposition plays a major role in whether a woman develops cellulite. The degree of manifestation does not necessarily have anything to do with weight. Even very slim women can find depressions on the skin of their thighs and buttocks if their connective tissue is particularly elastic from birth.
The female sex hormone estrogen also plays a crucial role. It favors enhanced fat or water retention which can typically promote dimpling.
Often individual lifestyle is to blame for the severity of cellulite. If a woman does little sport and/or has a tendency to put on weight, this may encourage the development of cellulite. Moreover, major changes in weight (the so-called yo-yo effect) can further its emergence, as can nicotine or alcohol.
Cellfina Munich: Innovative treatment against cellulite dimples and holes
Cellulite holes are not an expression of disease and are therefore not “dangerous” either, yet they are considered by many women as a major esthetic problem.
The dream of smoother skin on the buttocks and thighs can now become reality for the women affected – with Cellfina! This is a very effective method of effectively tackling cellulite pinholes. The principle of the treatment is simple: We dissolve the individual, thickened bands of connective tissue with the aid of the Cellfina system in a minimal-invasive treatment. This releases the tension of the skin surface, the skin regains its original level, unattractive dimpling is smoothened out. The appearance of cellulite improves sustainably.
Find out more about Cellfina® here.
BTL Exilis Elite™ Munich: Gentle and safe alleviation of cellulite waves
Whereas Cellfina is used to treat cellulite dimpling, we use the BTL Exilis Elite™ system to eliminate waves on the front and back of the thighs, on the knees and buttocks.
The BTL Exilis Elite™ treatment method is based on radio frequency / ultrasonic technology, i.e. it is non-invasive. The handpiece of the device is passed over the affected zones in circular movements. Here the skin surface heats up to between approx. 40 and 43 degrees Celsius, the deep tissue to around 45 degrees Celsius. In this way, fat cells die, at the same time the skin and connective tissue are toned through the formation of new collagen. The expression of cellulite is visibly alleviated.
Attiva Munich: Improvement of Cellulite through Regeneration of Collagen
Attiva – endodermal radio-frequency therapy – is a further treatment option promising alleviation of orange peel skin. Here the skin is stimulated to form new collagen. As a result, the connective tissue and skin firms and takes on new strength.
The treatment method uses heat to combat cellulose. To channel this heat into the deep skin layers, we insert a small, slender probe into the subcutaneous tissue and precisely position heating points (or so-called “coagulation points”) in the deep tissue. They ensure that the existing collagen fibers contract and at the same time new collagen is formed.
The result is clearly visible: Usually the skin becomes firmer, stronger and the bumps disappear. The appearance of the cellulite can be lastingly and significantly improved.
Combination therapy of Cellfina and BTL Exilis Elite™
In order to alleviate cellulite in its various forms or even to render it invisible, we often apply both therapies in combination.
The extent to which this is possible or necessary for you is something we would be pleased to clarify with you personally. Here we look at your initial diagnosis and together we elaborate the most suitable cellulite treatment for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is cellulite?
Cellulite is a skin condition that can occur in women, especially on the buttocks and thighs. It manifests itself through dents, waves, hole-like indentations, curvatures and/or hardenings on these skin areas and leads to an unsightly “golf ball pattern”. Cellulite is not “dangerous”, but a purely aesthetic problem, which nevertheless bothers many women.
Why are only women affected by cellulite?
The fact that only women get cellulite is due to their anatomy and the nature of their skin and connective tissue. The female epidermis is significantly thinner than that of men, and the dermis underneath is more flexible. In addition, there are more and larger fat cells in the subcutaneous tissue of women than in men. These clump together, and can become enlarged up to ten times over. During pregnancy they form “food reserves”.
The connective tissue of women is also different from that of men: It consists of very fine strands that run perpendicular to the skin surface and almost parallel to each other. This makes them very stretchy. These connective tissue strands yield slightly to the pressure of the fat chambers. Moreover, enlarged fat cells crowd along these strands – these are responsible for cellulite and cause the typical golf ball pattern on the skin surface.
In addition, there are the effects of the female sex hormone estrogen: As a result, women tend to store fat mainly on their thighs, hips, buttocks and abdomen – i.e. exactly where dents are easily visible.
In men, the fat chambers, which are firmly anchored in the subcutis, are smaller. The connective tissue runs horizontally to the surface of the skin and is strongly cross-linked. In this way, larger amounts of fat in men are tied up into smooth packets – no dents are visible.
What causes cellulite?
The formation of cellulite has nothing to do with body weight: Orange peel skin is usually the result of a genetic predisposition. However, whether and to what extent it becomes visible also depends on the health and structure of the skin. Additional factors such as the intake of hormones (“the pill”), stress or smoking favor the development.
In which parts of the body can cellulite occur?
In most cases, cellulite appears on the buttocks and/or thighs.
At what age does cellulite appear?
An exact age cannot be given; with some women the orange peel appears earlier, with others later – and with others not at all. Most women who get cellulite notice changes in the bottom and thighs from around the age of 20.
Does every woman get cellulite?
No. The unpopular cellulite can, in principle, emerge in every womanbecause she has the anatomical prerequisites for this (see question: “Why is it only women who suffer from cellulite?”). But this need not necessarily be the case. Whether cellulite appears depends on various factors (e.g. predisposition, condition and strength of the connective tissue, individual lifestyle).
What is the difference between cellulite and cellulitis?
Colloquially, cellulite is often equated with cellulitis. The two terms are used as synonyms. But the truth is that cellulite and cellulitis have nothing to do with each other.
While cellulite is orange peel skin, i.e. a change in the structure of the skin, and a cosmetic “problem” with no disease value, cellulitis is an unpleasant disease of the subcutaneous tissue/connective tissue. Cellulitis is an inflammation caused by bacteria. The affected areas are reddened, swollen and sensitive to pain. Cellulitis can also be accompanied by fever and a pronounced feeling of illness. The disease is usually treated with antibiotics.
Are there different forms of cellulite?
Not all cellulite is the same – as different women are, so is their orange peel skin. In general, cellulite can be divided into different types, which are defined by their characteristics. These are the number of cellulite dimples, their depth, the degree of skin sagging and the general unevenness of the skin structure. Good to know, by the way: Even though many people assume differently, stretch marks and fat deposits are not among the manifestations of cellulite.
Can cellulite be classified into different degrees of severity?
There are the severity levels 0 to 3:
Cellulite type 0
In this case the connective tissue is “normal”; the connective tissue strands are elastic. No dents are visible either in a relaxed state or when the muscle is tensed or when lying down. So there is no cellulite.
Cellulite type 1
At the first degree of severity, the volume of fatty tissue has increased slightly. The connective tissue strands are partially shortened. In the relaxed state, slight dents may become visible. If muscles and thus also the skin are tensed, the dents become visible. However, when lying down you will not notice any cellulite. Type 1 is referred to as mild structural cellulite.
Cellulite type 2
If the fatty tissue continues to increase in mass and the first signs of fibrosis appear on the connective tissue strands, cellulite type 2 is present. This also leads to a compression of the small blood and lymph vessels. The dents are now visible in both relaxed and tense state of skin and muscles. Cellulite is also noticeable when standing: By pulling the skin up while standing, the dents remain visible. When lying down, however, they are not visible.
Cellulite type 3
This type is strong structural cellulite. Fibrosis on the connective tissue fibres is advanced and nodules may form. Many dents are very clearly visible – now also when lying down.
Can I do something against cellulite myself?
A good way to fight cellulite, to reduce its appearance and its manifestation, is to actively tighten the skin. This works with exercise (muscle building), a healthy, balanced diet, abstaining from alcohol and nicotine, alternating showers, massages and/or the use of cellulite creams such as skin689®. In this way, cellulite can be reduced and possibly curbed, especially in low severity areas. From certain severity levels, however, only apparatus measures help in our praxis (see question: Which therapies help with cellulite?).
Which therapies help with cellulite?
This small, minimally invasive procedure loosens/cuts through individual, thickened connective tissue strands. The tension of the skin surface decreases and the annoying dents/holes are smoothed out.
BTL Exilis Elite™
Radio/ultrasound technology heats the skin surface and deep tissue, causing fat cells to die and stimulating the skin and connective tissue to form new collagen. Cellulite – dents, waves and small bulges of fat – is visibly reduced.
In this minimally invasive radiofrequency therapy, small, fine probes are inserted into the subcutaneous tissue. The deep tissue is specifically heated. The existing collagen fibres contract and new collagen is formed at the same time. The skin is tightened and smoothed, the treated body parts such as the breasts or buttocks are lifted slightly. Even small localized fat deposits can be melted with this method.
Why is Dr. Tatjana Pavicic the right doctor for my cellulite treatment?
Firstly, because she is a woman and can understand the concerns of female patients particularly well. Secondly, because she is an experienced specialist and internationally recognised expert in aesthetic dermatology.
Dr. Pavicicic regularly carries out cellulite therapies in her practice and has been able to help many patients to achieve a smoother skin texture on their legs and buttocks. Especially with Cellfina it stands out especially: She is one of the first doctors in Germany and the only doctor in Munich to offer this innovative system for cellulite treatment.