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Cellulite treatment is one of the most popular procedures performed in the NYC office of Dr. Michele Green. Cellulite is caused when the underlying fat pockets herniate and bulge below the skin, leaving a lumpy and dimpled appearance. Cellulite can appear on the buttocks, thighs, hip, and legs and is more common in women. The  prevalence of cellulite increases with age, taking away skin elasticity and firmness.

Dr. Michele Green is an expert in treating cellulite and utilizing the best laser treatments, from radiofrequency based Thermage® to Velashape®, to improve the appearance of cellulite.  Dr. Green is frequently nominated in Best Doctors for her cutting edge laser treatments for cellulite and skin tightening and other non-invasive cosmetic skin treatments.

What is Cellulite?

Cellulite is is an accumulation of fat beneath the skin which causes the appearance of rippling or lumpy skin mainly in the thighs and buttocks. Cellulite is formed when the septae also known as the fibrous bands, which is the connective tissue that connects the muscles to the skin, causes the fat to protrude resulting in a dimpling of the skin.

According to the AAD (American Academy of Dermatology), cellulite affects more than 80 percent of women in the United States. Anyone can develop cellulite, however women are more predisposed than men. Cellulite can be found on individuals of all sizes and, not solely in people those who are overweight. The appearance of cellulite however can vary depending on the thickness and elasticity of ones skin. Cellulite is also known as “orange peel skin” or “collage cheese” skin due to its appearance on the skin. The amount of cellulite an individual has is also based not just on their percentage of body fat, but it is also based on genetics.

What Causes Cellulite?

Fat cells are a contributing factor to the appearance of cellulite, but are not themselves the direct cause. A deeper layer of fat lives far below the skin’s surface, beneath the connective tissues. As the fat cells in that lower layer increase, they push against the honeycomb pattern of the connective tissue. In some areas they bulge and in others they are held in place by the tougher fibers above. This combination of fibers and fat is what leads to the dimpled appearance of cellulite.

Cellulite is a complex condition influenced by hormones, aging, and environmental stresses, which makes it challenging to treat successfully despite, recent advances in lasers and other technology.

In addition, the appearance of cellulite becomes more obvious with age.  As the skin loses its elasticity, collagen production slows and collagen levels are depleted. As the collagen fibers between the muscles and the skin separate, this causes a rippling or dimpling appearance on the skin. This dimpling look is a result of the collagen fibers and muscles separating, revealing the connective tissues beneath the skin and fat settling into the pockets created by this separation.

Some of the possible causes of Cellulite:  

  • Hormones
  • Poor diet
  • An unhealthy lifestyle
  • Genetics
  • Weight gain
  • Inactivity
  • Pregnancy
  • Birth control pills

Grades of cellulite

In the Journal of European Academy of Dermatology and Venerology published in 2009 doctors were able to establish a severity scale for accessing cellulite. The cellulite scale established three grades ranging from grade 1 to 3.

Grade 1 – (mild) superficial dimpling with an “orange peel” appearance and 1-4 slight depressions in the skin.

Grade 2 – (moderate) deeper rippling of the skin with a “cottage cheese”-like appearance and 5-9 medium depressions in the skin.

Grade 3 – (severe) deep rippling of the skin with a “mattress like” appearance and 10 or more deep depressions.

Hormonal factors

The presence of cellulite can also be attributed to hormones. The hormones which contribute to cellulite production are thyroid hormones, prolactin, noradrenaline, insulin and estrogen. Cellulite is also more prominent in menopausal women as the reduction in estrogen and collagen in the connective tissues contributes to the appearance of cellulite.

What are the Best Cellulite Treatments Available in NYC?

There are several fat removal and skin tightening treatment options which are used for cellulite reduction and are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) without side effects. To determine the best treatment for your cellulite you should schedule a consultation with Dr. Michele Green, a board certified dermatologist and an expert in noninvasive cosmetic treatments.

How Thermage® Helps

A single treatment of Thermage® offers a noninvasive method to minimize the appearance of cellulite. Dr. Green is thrilled to offer this procedure at her Upper East Side New York City private office. Thermage® is considered the gold standard for reducing the appearance of cellulite and tightening the skin. This dual benefit is provided by the unique Thermage® radiofrequency  technology.

With the newly designed total body tip, Thermage® is able to penetrate deeper into the skin tissue in a painless and effective way to both tighten and smooth the skin. A single treatment can provide lasting benefits for up to two years. Thermage® stimulates new collagen production by using radiofrequency energy that penetrates deeply into the fatty layers below the skin. The procedure takes approximately one hour and results are gradually seen over a period of two to four months.  Thermage® can be done on all skin types and is not photosensitizing so it can be done all year long.

Thermage® is comfortable and effective treatment  for all skin types, requiring no pre-treatment or downtime. Dr. Green recommends Thermage® to tighten loose skin around the arms, buttocks, thighs, and tummy and buttocks.  Thermage® is also the ideal treatment for a “mommy makeover” – to rejuvenate your body after pregnancy. Regular annual treatments may be incorporated as part a proactive anti-aging routine to help keep you looking younger for longer. With the new Thermage® FLX, Dr. Green can provide even better results to treat cellulite in her private NYC office.


CoolSculpting®, or cryolipolysis, is a revolutionary, extremely effective treatment method for freezing fat cells and improves the appearance of cellulite. CoolSculpting® is FDA cleared to treat the abdomen, arms, legs, banana roll, and inner and outer thighs which are the areas predominately affected by cellulite. CoolSculpting® works by non-invasively freezing the fat cells beneath the skin, rupturing the fat cells, and causing these cells to be metabolized and extcreted by the body. Multiple treatments may be required to achieve your desired results. Each treatment reduces a bulge of fat by 25%.  After three to four months from your initial treatment, you will see a noticeable reduction in fat. Dr. Michele Green was one of the first physicians in NYC to provide this revolutionary method of fat freezing to her patients.


Is a nonsurgical body contouring procedure which uses a handheld device to administer a treatment technology which combines cellulite reduction and body contouring. Velashape is a non-invasive treatment which uses heat, infrared light, radiofrequency and vacuum technology to manipulate the fibrous bands beneath the skin to improve the appearance of cellulite. This vacuum technology suction breaks up the lumpy pockets within the skin, while the  infrared light and bi-polar radio frequency energy gently heat the fat cells and surrounding tissue.

VelaShape® is done in 3-6 treatments, three weeks apart, to achieve circumferential reduction of cellulite in the treated areas. After Velashape treatment, the skin is visibly smoother and firmer, and results can be seen even after three sessions.  The best results are with a total of 5 to 6 Velashape sessions. Velasahpe® is completely painless, and feels like a hot stone massage. Each session takes less than an hour and can be done in any season and for all skin types. With the new Velashape® III, Dr. Green can give even faster and better results with less treatment sessions.

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Before & After: Velashape III treatment


Cellfina® is an FDA cleared device which uses a subcision technique to improve the appearance of cellulite.  Cellfina® involves using a needle to break up the connective tissue beneath the skin, which causes the lumpy appearance in the skin’s surface.  Cellfina® works by precisely treating these tethered bands which contribute to cellulite. Results can be seen in a few days and can last up to one year.


Carboxytherapy procedure uses carbon dioxide which is injected into the subcutaneous tissue beneath the skin. The carbon dioxide increases the blood flow which helps to improve the appearance of cellulite. There is is minimal discomfort and bruising at the injection site which dissipates within a few days.


Cellulaze® is a laser treatment which breaks apart the fibrous bands under the skin which makes cellulite more noticeable. The laser fiber is inserted beneath the skin into the subcutaneous tissue in the skin. Through the heat of the laser energy, the fibrous bands are broken apart. This treatment also improves the thickness of the skin. A series of several treatments are needed to see optimal results. Results can last up to twelve months.


Liposuction is an invasive procedure for fat removal performed by plastic surgeons in an operating room.  Liposuction is often performed using the tumescent technique, which is the gold standard for performing liposuction. The procedure involves an injection of lidocaine as a local anesthetic and epinephrine to control bleeding prior the procedure.  Many patients opt for general anesthesia, however it depends on your surgeon and the area being treated. The procedure is performed using a metallic rod, known as a cannula, which allows for increased fat removal, improved sculpting, and a quicker recovery. While liposuction can effectively remove fat, it cannot however, improve the appearance of cellulite.

Liposuction can be used in conjunction with other treatments, such as ultrasound, to help improve the appearance of cellulite.  The combination of treatments work together to improve the dimples in the skin. Most patients can return to work within 3 to 5 days following their liposuction procedure, and return to the gym and exercises within one week.


Mesotherapy, also referred to as liquid-lipo, uses a combination of proteins and enzymes which are injected into the skin. A meso device is utilized and injected into the subcutaneous tissue to break up the fat and aid in lymphatic drainage. The body metabolizes these fat cells and any excess fat is excreted from the body. Mesotherapy, in addition to a healthy diet and exercise, can help improve the appearance of cellulite.  Multiple treatments of mesotherapy are needed to help treat the area with cellulite. The procedure has minimal pain, but topical anesthesia can be applied to the area before treatment to minimize any discomfort. A common side effect is some swelling and soreness which can last for a few days after the treatment. You can resume normal activities immediately following Mesotherapy®.


Microdermabrasion works best for patients with grade 1 cellulite. The treatment uses aluminum oxide crystals to exfoliate the skin. The stimulation and exfoliation of the treated area generates new skin cells and improves the appearance of the skin. Several treatments are needed to see results but it is generally not as effective as the newer laser technologies.


Endermologie uses a hand held device which delivers a deep tissue massage to break apart the dimples in the skin. The massagers tone and tighten the skin. Several sessions are needed to see results. You may experience slight bruising and muscle soreness in the treated area. The effects of the treatments can last up to a year.

Acoustic wave therapy

Acoustic wave therapy uses sound waves vibration to stimulate the connective tissues. The vibration improves circulation and stimulates collagen build up  improves the appearance of cellulite. Several treatments are needed in order to see results.

DIY Cellulite treatments to improve cellulite  


Exercise and a healthy diet can help shed extra pounds eliminating fat and improving cellulite. You should focus on exercises that target areas of the body which are prone to cellulite, such as the posterior thighs and buttocks. Exercise which tone muscles, including cardio and strength training which burn fat, will tighten the skin and help you reduce body fat.  A reduction in body fat, by overall weight loss, will improve the appearance of cellulite.

Dry brushing   

Dry brushing stimulates blood and lymph flow, removes dead skin cells, and stimulates new cell growth. Dry brushing is a form of Ayurvedic medicine that uses a dry bristled brush on dry skin.  The dry brushing stimulates the circulation, stimulates blood flow, which in turn improves the appearance of cellulite. This method is best for type 1 cellulite.

Coffee grounds

A mixture of coffee grounds and essential oils, such as coconut oil or argan oil, can be used on cellulite. The coffee grounds exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells, and promoting new cell growth and lymphatic drainage. This exfoliation reduces the lumpiness in the skin, improves blood flow and circulation. The addition of an essential oil to the coffee grounds moisturizes the skin and improves the skin’s tone and texture.

Which Topical Skincare Treatments are good for Cellulite?

There are topical cellulite creams and lotions which soften and tighten the skin to make the appearance of cellulite less visible. The success of these topical lotions depend on the severity of your cellulite.  For grades 2 and 3 cellulite, topical treatments will probably not be the solution.  These topical solutions may improve grade 1 cellulite by improving how the skin looks.  By decreasing the water content of the fat cells or thickening the outer layer of the skin, the appearance of superficial cellulite can be improved. Some of the better over the counter cellulite lotions contain  caffeine, retinols, alpha hydroxy acids and aminophylline.

Caffeine works by increasing the blood flow to the skin, which in turn changes the water content of the fat cells and softens the appearance of cellulite.

Retinol based lotions work by generating new collagen in the skin, and improving the skin’s tone and texture.  Retinol comes in various strengths, and the highest strength available should yield the best cosmetic results.

If you’re frustrated with the appearance of your cellulite, there’s finally a solution that can help. Dr. Michele Green is an expert in Cellulite Treatment and you can Contact Us online at our NYC office today or call 212-535-3088 to learn more about whether Cellulite Treatment options such as Thermage® may be right for you.

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