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 39

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

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.

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

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.

Gregory A. Buford, MD, FACS
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

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 34 reviews

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
4.9 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
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Cellulite treatments

For years, as you can see by these answers, there has not been a long lasting treatment for cellulite.  Now we have a treatment that according to the FDA has 2 year stats that say it is lasting.  This is called Cellfina, and uses a release of the strands of collagen that dimple the skin utilizing a minimally invasive, local anesthesia treatment.  It is easy on the patient and has a very high satisfaction rate (94% at one year and 96% at two years). There are very few offices that have this currently.  Only two in Los Angeles currently.  But I feel this is the first treatment for cellulite that I could endorse, because IT WORKS.

Dan Mills, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Cellulite Treatment for Arms and Thighs

Cellulite is a very stubborn form of fat, and the condition afflicts 85% - 90% of all women over the age of 20 in such fat-prone areas as the upper arms, buttocks, inner and outer thighs, and abdomen. Cellulite gets its dimpled appearance from being pushed through a fibrous network that causes the distinctive “orange peel” effect. However, a new treatment – Venus Legacy – is now gaining widespread popularity. The treatment uses radiofrequency heat to break apart cellulite’s fibrous network and cause the fat cells to shrink by extruding their fatty acids. Results will become apparent within a few weeks, and when your series of treatments are complete, you’ll see a loss of circumference around your upper arms and thighs, and the skin will be significantly smoother and tighter.

Hal Michael Bass, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 47 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, DDS
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 11 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
4.3 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

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.