Orange peel, cottage cheese, hail damage…whatever you call it, cellulite affects roughly 90% of adult women regardless of age, size, race, or ethnicity. And while cellulite isn’t bad for your health, many women aren’t thrilled by its appearance—especially given it is nearly impossible to get rid of through diet and exercise alone. The good news is that, with a new injectable treatment called QWO®, women can finally say goodbye to embarrassing cellulite dimpling in their bottoms.
What causes cellulite?
Cellulite is truly one of the great paradoxes of the female body. Because it affects nearly all women but only 10% of men, cellulite is thought to be caused in part by the hormone estrogen. Here’s how: As women age, their estrogen begins to decline, causing a lack of blood flow, especially in the lower body. This decreased circulation results in a reduction in collagen production, which just so happens to occur at the same time that fat cells begin to grow in the female body (around the age of 25-35).
Genes and lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise are also thought to play a role in cellulite formation, but even the healthiest women often still struggle with skin dimpling. Cellulite is slightly associated with an increased BMI, but plenty of thin women also have it. To add to the complexity, one article in the opens in a new windowAmerican Society of Plastic Surgeons found that weight loss decreased the severity of cellulite for some women, but actually worsened its appearance for others.
What is QWO?
QWO is the first cosmetic injectable approved by the FDA to treat moderate to severe cellulite in the buttocks of women. Once injected into cellulite dimples, QWO’s collagenase enzymes immediately go to work breaking down the thick collagen bands (a.k.a. “fibrous septae”) underneath the skin that cause cellulite dimpling. Once these bands are released, fat cells are no longer forced upwards against the skin’s surface and are free to redistribute themselves, making the skin appear smoother and more even.
QWO also stimulates collagen production in the skin, rebuilding your collagen support network with thinner, smaller, more flexible septae that help prevent future dimpling in the treated area.
How many treatments will I need?
It takes a series of 3 total treatment sessions spaced 3 weeks apart for QWO to fully release your skin’s collagen bands. Each session takes about 30 minutes, and injections are relatively painless.
So, if you’re planning a summer beach vacay, now is the perfect time to start your QWO treatments to be swim-suit ready!
Is QWO safe?
As with any new medical product, reading up on QWO’s safety record will help you decide whether or not to give it a try. Here are a few key facts to consider:
- QWO is opens in a new windowFDA-approvedopens PDF file
- QWO was proven to be both safe and effective via opens in a new windowthe largest U.S. clinical trials in the history of cellulite investigation
- opens in a new windowQWO’s Phase 2 study reported no major adverse effects attributed to the drug
- Minor side effects include bruising and tenderness at the injection site; patients report that these side effects resolve on their own over time
Does QWO work?
Yes, it works—and we have results from multiple clinical trials to demonstrate its efficacy! However, if you have loose skin in your buttocks, you may not be a candidate for QWO. At Basu Aesthetics + Plastic Surgery, we can help you determine if you are a good candidate during a personal consultation.
How does QWO compare to other cellulite treatments?
We’ve established that QWO has an impressive safety record and can deliver great results; but how does it compare to existing cellulite treatments including topical creams, Cellulaze, and Cellfina? Let’s compare these treatments to QWO:
QWO vs. topical creams
A number of opens in a new windowOTC creams and scrubs have been marketed as cellulite treatments, with many containing caffeine and/or aminophylline. These ingredients target body fat by blocking alpha receptors (responsible for making fat) in the body. Other creams contain L-carnitine, which is thought to help reduce body fat by supporting metabolic function.
The problem with these creams is that they don’t address the fibrous collagen bands that create the appearance of cellulite. By plumping up the skin, they may temporarily reduce cellulite’s appearance, but a cream simply can’t treat the root cause of the problem.
QWO vs. Cellulaze
Cellulaze treats cellulite via a laser that is inserted beneath the skin to melt fat and sever the fibrous collagen bands. A pro of Cellulaze is that it typically requires only one treatment session.
However, Cellulaze has 3 major disadvantages:
- It takes up to 3 months to see full results
- At an average cost of $2,500 to treat a single area on both legs, treatment can get pricey
- It is an invasive procedure
QWO vs. Cellfina
Cellfina uses a needle-sized microblade to cut cellulite’s collagen bands beneath the skin. It’s FDA-approved to treat cellulite in the thighs and buttocks and has been shown to improve the appearance of dimpling for at least 2 years.
While Cellfina has a high success rate, it has 3 major drawbacks:
- The procedure costs between $3,500 to $6,500
- It requires incisions
- It takes an hour to treat 25 cellulite dimples
There was also opens in a new windowa Cellfina recall in 2016, which has made some patients wary of the procedure.
By contrast, QWO’s collagenase formula loosens collagen bands without incisions or lasers, making it a far less invasive treatment that requires almost no downtime.
QWO vs. liposuction
Liposuction is used to contour the body by strategically removing fat from beneath the skin in certain areas. However, liposuction is not an effective treatment for cellulite because, like topical products, it doesn’t address the collagen bands that pull the skin downwards. In fact, liposuction can actually worsen the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks in patients with poor skin elasticity.
If a surgeon recommends liposuction alone to improve the appearance of your cellulite, he or she is likely inexperienced or underqualified. You can avoid this situation by choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon who understands the mechanics behind cellulite and how to properly treat it.
Where is QWO available?
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Bob Basu performs QWO treatments in the safety and comfort of his Houston office. No blades or lasers are needed, and patients see a lasting improvement in their cellulite after just 3 treatments. Contact us online or call (713) 799-2278 to book your QWO procedure now and ensure you’re bathing-suit ready for summer!