Dermal Fillers for Cellulite

Dermal fillers for Cellulite; At A Glance

  • Best Results2-4 sessions
  • Treatment Recovery1-2 weeks
  • Procedure Time30 min
  • Skin SpecialistDavin Lim, nurse injector
  • Duration of Results2-5 years
  • AnaestheticLocal, gas, sedation
  • Back to Work1-4 days
  • Cost$$$-$$$$

Dermal Fillers for Cellulite

Dermal fillers are now mainstream treatment for cellulite. I deliver a class of fillers known as collagen stimulating fillers. These are different from the usual volumetric fillers such as hyaluronic acid. Collagen stimulating fillers strengthen the dermal layer, reducing out pocketing of adipose tissue or fat from the lower hypodermal layer.

FactsFacts on Dermal Fillers for Cellulite

  • An important cause of cellulite is a weak dermal layer
  • Extrusion forces in the layer below pushes fat upwards
  • Herniation of fat pockets gives rise to visible waves of cellulite
  • Collagen stimulating fillers reinforces the dermal layer
  • Fillers include calcium hydroxylapatite & poly-L-lactic acid
  • Fillers last 2-5 years, however their role is to increase your skin’s collagen production
  • Fillers are best combined with radiofrequency devices & subcision

What is the cause of cellulite & how do I approach this problem?

3 main factors are implicated in cellulite.

  1. Prominent bands or septae that connect to the underside of the dermis. This gives depression & divots.
  2. Prominent pocket of adipose tissue or fat. These lobules are larger in females compared to males.
  3. Weakened dermal layer of skin. This allows herniation of fat pockets. This gives rise to the wavy & undulating cellulite.

By analytically addressing each factor, we can effectively target cellulite. Hence treatments include surgical release (bands & prominent pockets), RF stimulation of collagen & RF reduction of fat, and strengthening of the dermal layer (dermal filler).

How do dermal fillers treat cellulite?

Concept: dermal fillers strengthen the dermis by producing collagen. This is a different concept compared to hyaluronic acid fillers used primarily for volumetric correction of the face.

Strengthening of the dermis combats the high extrusion forces generated by the hypodermis. The hypodermis contains lobules of adipose tissue or fat. One of the main causes of cellulite is herniation of fat pockets, giving a wavy appearance to the area.

As it takes 2-6 months for your body’s immune system to produce collagen, results from dermal fillers will reflect this timeline.

I employ ways of collagen stimulation. Firstly, with fillers including poly-l-lactic acid, & calcium hydroxyapatite. Secondly with energy devices including radiofrequency & electromagnetic energy.

What types of cellulite respond best to dermal fillers & surgery?

Cellulite can be classed as localised (depressions and bandings), generalised (wavy areas) or mixed.

Localised cellulite with bands & discrete divots do best with dermal fillers & subcision. 

Generalised cellulite characterised by wavy areas can also improve with dermal fillers combined with radiofrequency devices. This form of cellulite is harder to treat. Cellulite located on the inner thighs falls in this category.

What types of dermal fillers do I use?

I use collagen stimulating fillers, namely poly-L-Lactic acid as well as calcium hydroxylapatite. Both of these fillers are TGA approved with a very long safety record.

As a guide PLLA fillers last between 3 to 5 years, whilst calcium hydroxylapatite lasts 2+ years.

When will I notice the results?

2-4 months. Remember, the aim of collagen stimulating fillers is to stimulate your body’s immune system to produce collagen (as opposed to hyaluronic acid dermal fillers for volume correction).

Collagen stimulation is maximal at 6 months. This is compounded by the use of energy devices including radiofrequency or RF.

How long do dermal fillers last?

My preference is to use collagen stimulating fillers over hyaluronic acid fillers due to the longevity of the former. As a guide, collagen stimulating fillers will last between 2-5 years. 

It is important to understand that these fillers are designed to stimulate collagen production, very different from hyaluronic acid fillers that are primarily designed for volumetric correction with secondary collagen stimulation.

Davin’s Viewpoint on dermal fillers for cellulite

In the past 3 years we have understood the anatomical & histological features of cellulite. We have an understanding of the different patterns of this condition, & in the majority of cases we can improve the appearance of cellulite.

Dermal fillers play an important role in strengthening the dermal-hypodermal junction. This layer of skin is where the herniated pockets of fat push upwards with powerful extrusion forces. Todate, there are only two effective methods to strengthen this area, firstly with dermal fillers. Fillers stimulate type 1 & 3 collagen. This acts as scaffolding to this layer. Secondly, with RF devices. These work by stimulation of innate collagen, hence why it is essential to combine fillers with devices. 

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