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Qwo – A New Treatment for Cellulite

We are excited about the newest treatment for cellulite that should be available in the spring of 2021.

What is cellulite?

Cellulite is a condition on the skin with the appearance of dimpling that affects up to 90 % of women. Instead of being smooth, the skin has indented dimples. Sometimes people say it looks like cottage cheese or orange peel. Cellulite occurs more frequently in women than men and cellulite is usually seen on the buttocks and thighs. The appearance of cellulite is caused by fibrous bands in the skin made of collagen.

What causes cellulite?

The exact cause of cellulite is not known. Studies show that it has to do with the interaction between the connective tissue under the skin and the fat below it. Sometimes the fat protrudes into the skin that causes lumps. Between these lumps are the dimples that represent cellulite. It is also thought that hormones can play a role in cellulite formation. For example, when estrogen levels decrease in women after menopause, there is less collagen produced as a result of decrease blood flow to the skin. Another possible cause of cellulite formation is diet and lifestyle. Eating foods high in fat and carbohydrates and not exercising enough will lead to a buildup of fat in your skin. Sometimes cellulite is genetic and you can’t get rid of it even when you lose weight.

How can I treat my cellulite?

Unfortunately, there have not been many good treatments for cellulite. Until now, almost all treatments for cellulite have been invasive such as having surgery or placing lasers under your skin. Qwo is a new treatment that was approved by the FDA in 2020 and is scheduled to be commercially available in the spring of 2021.

What is Qwo?

Qwo is the first and thus-far only FDA-approved, non-surgical, injectable treatment for cellulite. The active ingredient in Qwo is an enzyme called CCH (collagenase clostridium histolyticum) that breaks down the fibrous bands in the skin that causes the dimpling. This enzyme is used in other medications such as Xiaflex to treat other conditions where thick fibrous bands of collagen pull on the skin such as Dupuytren’s contracture and Peyronie’s disease.

Where can Qwo be used?

Qwo is indicated for use to treat cellulite on the buttocks but Qwo can also be used off label to treat cellulite in other areas such as the thighs.

Is Qwo safe?

The safety of Qwo has been tested on hundreds of patients with over a thousand treatments. Qwo is very safe with very few side effects. The most common side effects of Qwo are bruising, pain, firm lumps, itching, redness, discoloration, swelling, and warmth at the site of placement. Allergic reactions have been reported but are rare.

Who should not get Qwo?

Qwo has not been tested on women who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breast feeding. Therefore, if you’re pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breast feeding, you should wait until you are done breast feeding before receiving a treatment with Qwo. You should not receive a treatment with Qwo if you have an allergy to any of it’s ingredients (collagenase clostridium histolyticum, mannitol, sucrose, tromethamine, hydrochloric acid, calcium chloride, or sodium chloride) or if you have an infection on your skin at the site of treatment.

What happens during a Qwo treatment?

Before your Qwo treatment, we will take pictures of the areas that will be treated to monitor your progress. Then we apply numbing cream and let it sit for about 15 minutes. At that time, the numbing cream will be cleaned off your skin and the Qwo is placed in the dimpled areas of cellulite with a tiny needle.

How many Qwo treatments will I need?

In the studies done on Qwo, most people received three Qwo treatments done every three weeks.

When will I see the results of Qwo?

Some people start to see the results of their Qwo treatment in as early as three weeks. However, most people need multiple treatments and you will continue to see improvement in the appearance of your cellulite over time.

What will happen after my Qwo treatment?

The area treated with Qwo may be sore or swollen and you will likely see temporary bruising that will go away on its own. Otherwise, you can resume your normal activities after a Qwo treatment.

How long do the results of Qwo last?

The studies done with Qwo have shown that the results last for at least a few years.

When will Qwo be available?

Qwo is scheduled to be available in the spring of 2021.

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Dr. Alex has performed over 10,000 cosmetic treatments with many satisfied patients. Contact us to schedule an appointment for a free consultation with Dr. Alex in our Encino, CA office.

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