Cellulite treatment refers to the various procedures and methods used to minimize the appearance of cellulite, a common condition characterized by the appearance of dimpled, lumpy flesh on the hips, buttocks, thighs, and stomach. As per Inkwood Research, the global cellulite treatment market is expected to grow with a CAGR of 9.44% during the estimated years of 2023 to 2032. Moreover, the global market is set to capture a revenue share of $5584.90 million by 2032.
Although cellulite affects both women and men, it is more prevalent in females, mainly due to different muscle, fat, and connective tissue distribution; the condition impacts 90% of women and 10% of men, majorly in industrialized nations. Moreover, as per a validated photonumeric cellulite severity scale, cellulite is ranked in three grades –
- Grade 1 (Mild) – An ‘orange peel’ appearance, with upto 4 superficial depressions as well as a slightly sagging or draped appearance to the skin.
- Grade 2 (Moderate) – A ‘cottage cheese’ appearance, with between five to nine medium-depth depressions. In this case, the skin looks moderately draped.
- Grade 3 (Severe) – With 10 or more deep depressions, the skin is severely draped and has a ‘mattress’ appearance.
The Science Behind Cellulite – A Deep Dive into Causes & Major Types
Cellulite is often the result of a number of issues, such as hormones, poor circulation and lymphatic drainage, medical conditions (thyroid problems, diabetes, etc.), aging, and genetics, among others. Furthermore, the risk factors for cellulite may also include pregnancy and childbirth, a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, obesity, and age.
While it may not be possible to entirely eliminate cellulite, several products, targeted treatments, and lifestyle changes may help reduce its appearance. The identification process, in this regard, is particularly important, as the appropriate treatment depends on the type of cellulite as well as the stage of its development.
Aligning with this, Inkwood Research has closely analyzed the three main types of cellulite: soft cellulite, hard cellulite, and edematous cellulite –
- Also termed flaccid cellulite, soft cellulite is associated with sagging skin. It is often found in areas where fat accumulates, such as the stomach, arms, hips, legs, and buttocks.
- Soft cellulite captured the highest revenue share of 65% in 2022, according to Inkwood Research’s analysis.
- Hard cellulite is characterized by blemishes and depressions on the thighs, hips, and glutes.
- As per Inkwood Research, hard cellulite is set to grow with the highest CAGR of 54% during the forecast period, 2023 to 2032.
- Edematous cellulite, on the other hand, is the least common form of cellulite and can be challenging to treat. It results from poor blood circulation, aggravated by fluid retention.
Cellulite Treatment | Examining Targeted Therapies & Popular Products
Cellulite primarily occurs due to alterations in the connective tissue and changes in the composition of fat within fat cells (adipocytes). Treatments and therapies for the reduction of cellulite play an essential role in enhancing blood flow and unclogging the vessels previously blocked by the fatty tissue. When these fat deposits are eliminated, the body parts receive more blood than before the treatment.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) reviewed various techniques that may be successful in terms of reducing the appearance of cellulite. They do so by deconstructing the bands of connective tissue under the surface of the skin. For instance, acoustic wave therapy works by disrupting hardened fibrous septae and providing the skin with natural elasticity. It also thickens the underlying skin, thus preventing lumpy skin from appearing. Subsequently, it enables fat cells to fall back naturally into a relatively smoother contour.
Subcision, on the other hand, is a process used to treat scars caused by skin conditions and has been noted to improve severe to moderate cellulite. The simple surgical procedure is performed through the insertion of a specially designed needle under the skin after inoculating a local numbing medication. As per the AAD, the results can last up to two years or more. Vacuum therapy is used to combat severe cellulite. Although there are little to no side effects of vacuum therapy, given its non-invasive nature, the patient may feel slight tightness and pain following the procedure. Aligning with this, non-invasive is set to be the dominating procedure over the projection period, capturing a revenue share of 42.21% in 2022.
While carboxytherapy involves inserting carbon dioxide gas under the skin, endermologie entails a deep massage with a vacuum-like device that lifts the skin. Specialized dermatology clinics predominantly offer cellulite treatments using carboxytherapy and endermologie technologies, coupled with consultation as well as in-depth assessment. These factors, in turn, play an important role in positioning clinics and beauty centers as the fastest-growing end-user during the forecast period.
Likewise, newly launched products using advanced technologies are also expected to gain traction, with multiple treatment products being introduced by market players. For example –
- CoolSculpting, by ZELTIQ Aesthetics (United States), is one of the most popular non-invasive body contouring procedures. It destroys stubborn fat with controlled cooling and can be used to slim and sculpt the thighs, hips, abdomen, back, chin, and jawline for a toned appearance.
- Liposuction has gained significant traction among individuals who wish to remove large volumes of fat and those that have been unable to obtain the desired results using non-invasive modalities. For instance, Smartlipo Triplex by Cynosure (United States) is a minimally invasive body contouring treatment used to remove fat using laser liposuction.
- RESONIC Rapid Acoustic Pulse™ Technology, launched by Soliton Inc (United States), is a device that uses a first-of-its-kind technology and offers a paradigm-shifting approach toward cellulite treatment. Essentially, it helps improves the appearance of cellulite non-invasively with high patient satisfaction after just 1 treatment session.
- Revelle Aesthetics’ (United States) Avéli™ is a one-time-use disposable device for cellulite designed to be used in an in-office procedure through a Targeted, Verifiable Subcision™ method. During a minimally invasive, advanced procedure with local anesthesia, a provider can treat both the buttocks and thighs for a variety of women across the spectrum of cellulite severity as well as complexity.
- Endo International PLC (Dublin) received the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of Qwo™ in 2020 for treating moderate to severe cellulite in the glutes of adult women. Moreover, Qwo™ is the first FDA-approved injectable cellulite treatment.
As evidenced above, advancements in technology have expanded minimally invasive treatment options and helped to make aesthetics more accessible and effective. The advent of technologically advanced medical aesthetic equipment and devices has also paved the way for more streamlined as well as seamless cosmetic procedures in the modern era.
For instance, radiofrequency energy is utilized to heat the dermis and subcutaneous tissues and use infrared light to denature collagen leading to skin tightening. Moreover, the radiofrequency method is highly effective in terms of increasing blood circulation and skin tightening. While some devices combine massage, radiofrequency, and infrared, others use ultrasound energy to treat fat and reduce the appearance of cellulite. Therefore, such technological advancements are expected to provide the global cellulite treatment market with lucrative growth opportunities.
Which are the major companies operating in the global cellulite treatment market?
Some of the leading players operating in the global cellulite treatment market are Sientra Inc, Candela Corporation, Endo International PLC, etc.
Are there any natural remedies to treat cellulite?
Some natural remedies for cellulite include dry brushing, massage with essential oils like grapefruit or juniper, and coffee scrubs. Although these treatments may provide temporary improvement, their effectiveness is not scientifically proven.