How Can I Get Rid of Cellulite?

What are my options for permanently getting rid of cellulite on my arms and thighs?  Already tried cellulite creams and massage...none of which worked. I am willing to do an anti-cellulite medical treatment if its safe and works.

Doctor Answers 30

These are nutrients that may be obtained from food or...

These are nutrients that may be obtained from food or from intake of dietary supplements. Each one contributes to healthy cells and healthy connective tissue (collagen & elastin) which when they are strong and healthy, the skin is firmer and more hydrated.

  • Glucosamine is an amino acid that is the building block for collagen and elastin.
    Take 1200mg of either Glucosamine Sulfate or Glucosamine Hydrochloride every day.
  • Lecithin is a vital component to repairing cell walls.
    Lecithin may be found in eggs, soy products, cauliflower, tomatoes and spinach.
    OR you can take 1 tablespoon of lecithin granules, (mix into salads, or shakes) 1725 mg daily.
  • Essential Fatty Acids are the oil that lubricates the body’s gears, and maintain water within the cells. They are not naturally produced within the body so to obtain these essential nutrients we need to get them from outside sources.
  • Take at least 2.2 – 4.4 grams of alpha linoleic acid (an Omega 3 Fatty acid) per day.
  • Also, to get EFA’s in your diet, eat olive oil, cold-water fish and raw walnuts.
  • Antioxidants help to prevent damage caused by free radicals. The best sources are from raw fruits and vegetables and basically get as many of these as possible into your diet.
    As a general rule, the darker and brighter the color of the food the more densely it is packed with antioxidants.
  • Pomegranates, blueberries, red peppers, blackberries, and citrus fruits are great sources of antioxidants.

El Segundo Dermatologist

Have a question? Ask a doctor

Cellulite treatment

Many cellulite treatments exist, but most have temporary benefits or no benefit at all. Before and After photos can be deceiving because you never know when they were taken and if the effects are due to the treatment or due to other factors like lighting, weight loss, a tan, etc. 

Even Cellulaze, the new state of the art treatment states that improvement can be seen "up to a year after treatment". If you have a special event (like a honeymoon or somewhere you know you'll be photographed) then it may be worth exploring the current treatment options for cellulite. Otherwise, it may be a waste of money or a lifelong commitment.

Dana Goldberg, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

No great answer for cellulite

There are a lot of expensive treatments for cellulite - none with lasting results and most that are a complete waste of money. Beware of the marketing.

Cellulite is a common term referring to skin surface irregularities and dimpling of skin, predominantly in the thighs and buttocks (think cottage cheese thighs). Causes for the appearance have been blamed on differences in connective tissue structure and on adipose tissue biochemistry. Research has confirmed that women get cellulite more often than men. Some physicians have attributed the defect as secondary to enlargement in fat cells in the superficial tissue below the skin, resulting in compartmental bulging between the connective tissue. Since the well-developed and organized septa that make up the connective tissue do not give way to the increased volume in a limited space, this becomes transmitted as surface irregularity between the deeper pockets of fat.

To date, no significant differences in biochemistry, physiology, or blood and/or lymph flow of the tissue and structure organization in cellulite tissue have been demonstrated scientifically.

However heredity can be a factor.

Here are things you can do to help:

  1. Avoid things that will damage your skin (sun, tobacco products).
  2. Avoid weight loss and weight gain.

I hope this helps.

There is no way to actually get rid of cellulite...

There is no way to actually get rid of cellulite although there are treatments to reduce its appearance. All of the following treatments have been touted for their effectiveness in either decreasing or eliminating cellulite:

  • Thermage
  • Liposuction
  • Endermology
  • Topical creams

Unfortunately, as you may have found, reports tend to be anecdotal and without any hard scientific basis.

Cellulite treatments, but no cure

Unfortunately, a treatment for cellulite remains problematic and there is just no known way to fully eliminate it currently. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and avoiding weight fluctuations can help some people improve the appearance of cellulite.

In my experience, some things like Slim Lipo may offer a slight improvement, as well.

Deason Dunagan, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Improving Cellulite


I have both the VelaSmooth device and the newer SmoothShapes device. Both can improve cellulite. My nurses and I have had better results with the later device. I have two prospective clinical studies which will be published in peer review journals that show good improvement with both devices. The SmoothShapoes device is safer so you have some options.

Michael Kulick, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
2.5 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

You can't get rid of cellulite

There are some procedures such as Endodermologie that provide temporary improvement but once they are discontinued the problem usually recovers. Removing the loose skin will flatten areas out.

Radio frequency devices will also temporarily help the problem but not completely. Fat re-injections are often inconsistent, and in most cases liposuction may make cellulite worse. Consult with your physician about the pros and cons of any treatment

Joseph M. Perlman, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Nothing great for cellulite

Unfortunately, there is nothing great out there to treat cellulite.  All the lasers that purport efficacy are not impressive to me and do not warrant the cost.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Every woman knows what cellulite is and they hate it....

Every woman knows what cellulite is and they hate it. You see it in the thighs and buttocks and it is very difficult to treat. Ninety-five percent of what you have heard about cellulite treatment is hype and not science.

In my opinion, creams, massages and ultrasound don't help. Also, in my opinion, treatments such as lipolysis, mesotherapy, and endermologie don't help.

There are two procedures that do help: One is non-invasive, and the other is done together with liposuction.

  • First, the non-invasive procedure is called Thermage of the thighs.
    • Energy is delivered to the deep layers of the skin, which tightens and smoothes the skin. We have seen some fairly impressive results. Thermage is extremely safe, and it takes about one and a half hours in the office. There is no anesthesia, no down time, and no scar. So, for many women, it is worth a try.

      (Thermage was also just approved by the FDA for tightening skin around the eyelids).

  • The second procedure I call superficial micro-tunneling, and it is done together with liposuction.
    • Once all the desired fat is removed, I make many tiny tunnels just under the skin of the thighs, approaching each area from several directions. When this network just under the skin heals and contracts, the overlying skin is tightened, and cellulite is improved. This is a great approach, but it only makes sense for women who also need liposuction.

It is so unfair that men just don't get cellulite.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Laser assisted cellulite treatment

Try Cellulaze, which is a laser assisted treatment that doesn't require surgery. We have found that it has helped our patients.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.