The treatment of cellulite, a major cosmetic concern for many women, remains challenging. Although a number of studies have investigated the effects of a wide range of products/procedures on cellulite-related endpoints, most of these studies have important methodological flaws. At present, there is no clear clinical evidence that any evaluated treatments have good efficacy in reducing cellulite, with the most promising results shown with acoustic wave therapy.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Luebberding S, Krueger N, Sadick NS. Cellulite: an evidence-based review. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2015;16(4):243–56.
Emanuele E. Cellulite: advances in treatment: facts and controversies. Clin Dermatol. 2013;31(6):725–30.
Hexsel DM, Dal’forno T, Hexsel CL. A validated photonumeric cellulite severity scale. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2009;23(5):523–8.
Turati F, Pelucchi C, Marzatico F, et al. Efficacy of cosmetic products in cellulite reduction: systematic review and meta-analysis. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2014;28(1):1–15.
Adatto M, Adatto-Neilson R, Servant J-J, et al. Controlled, randomized study evaluating the effects of treating cellulite with AWT/EPAT. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2010;12(4):176–82.
Russe-Wilflingseder K, Russe-Wilfingsleder K, Russe E, et al. Placebo controlled, prospectively randomized, double-blinded study for the investigation of the effectiveness and safety of the acoustic wave therapy (AWT®) for cellulite treatment. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2013;15(3):155–62.
Knobloch K, Joest B, Krämer R, et al. Cellulite and focused extracorporeal shockwave therapy for non-invasive body contouring: a randomized trial. Dermatol Ther. 2013;3(2):143–55.
Bousquet-Rouaud R, Bazan M, Chaintreuil J, et al. High-frequency ultrasound evaluation of cellulite treated with the 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2009;11(1):34–44.
Truitt A, Elkeeb L, Ortiz A, et al. Evaluation of a long pulsed 1064-nm Nd:YAG laser for improvement in appearance of cellulite. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2012;14(3):139–44.
Jackson RF, Roche GC, Shanks SC. A double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial evaluating the ability of low-level laser therapy to improve the appearance of cellulite. Lasers Surg Med. 2013;45(3):141–7.
Smalls LK, Hicks M, Passeretti D, et al. Effect of weight loss on cellulite: gynoid lypodystrophy. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2006;118(2):510–6.
Lis-Balchin M. Parallel placebo-controlled clinical study of a mixture of herbs sold as a remedy for cellulite. Phytother Res. 1999;13(7):627–9.
Distante F, Bacci PA, Carrera M. Efficacy of a multifunctional plant complex in the treatment of the so-called “cellulite”: clinical and instrumental evaluation. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2006;28(3):191–206.
Kligman A, Pagnoni A, Stoudemayer T. Topical retinol improves cellulite. J Dermatol Treat. 1999;10(2):119–25.
Lesser T, Ritvo E, Moy LS. Modification of subcutaneous adipose tissue by a methylxanthine formulation: a double-blind controlled study. Dermatol Surg. 1999;25(6):455–62.
Al-Bader T, Byrne A, Gillbro J, et al. Effect of cosmetic ingredients as anticellulite agents: synergistic action of actives with in vitro and in vivo efficacy. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2012;11(1):17–26.
Bertin C, Zunino H, Pittet JC, et al. A double-blind evaluation of the activity of an anti-cellulite product containing retinol, caffeine, and ruscogenine by a combination of several non-invasive methods. J Cosmet Sci. 2001;52(4):199–210.
Collis N, Elliot LA, Sharpe C, et al. Cellulite treatment: a myth or reality: a prospective randomized, controlled trial of two therapies, endermologie and aminophylline cream. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1999;104(4):1110–7.
Dupont E, Journet M, Oula M-L, et al. An integral topical gel for cellulite reduction: results from a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled evaluation of efficacy. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2014;7:73–88.
Epstein E, Young VL, Schorr M, et al. Prospective and randomized determination of the efficacy of topical lipolytic agents. Aesthetic Surg J. 1997;17(5):304–7.
Mlosek RK, Dębowska RM, Lewandowski M, et al. Imaging of the skin and subcutaneous tissue using classical and high-frequency ultrasonographies in anti-cellulite therapy. Skin Res Technol. 2011;17(4):461–8.
Roure R, Oddos T, Rossi A, et al. Evaluation of the efficacy of a topical cosmetic slimming product combining tetrahydroxypropyl ethylenediamine, caffeine, carnitine, forskolin and retinol, in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo studies. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2011;33(6):519–26.
Sasaki GH, Oberg K, Tucker B, et al. The effectiveness and safety of topical PhotoActif phosphatidylcholine-based anti-cellulite gel and LED (red and near-infrared) light on Grade II-III thigh cellulite: a randomized, double-blinded study. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2007;9(2):87–96.
Sparavigna A, Guglielmini G, Togni S, et al. Evaluation of anti-cellulite efficacy: a topical cosmetic treatment for cellulite blemishes: a multifunctional formulation. J Cosmet Sci. 2011;62(3):305–16.
Vogelgesang B, Bonnet I, Godard N, et al. In vitro and in vivo efficacy of sulfo-carrabiose, a sugar-based cosmetic ingredient with anti-cellulite properties. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2011;33(2):120–5.
Bagatin E, Miot HA, Soares JLM, et al. Long-wave infrared radiation reflected by compression stockings in the treatment of cellulite: a clinical double-blind, randomized and controlled study. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2013;35(5):502–9.
This article was adapted from the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology 2015;16(4):243–56  by salaried employees of Adis/Springer, and was not supported by any external funding.
About this article
Cite this article
Cellulite: no clear evidence that any type of treatment is effective. Drugs Ther Perspect 31, 437–440 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40267-015-0246-5
- Thigh Circumference
- Collagenase Injection
- Connective Tissue Septum
- Standard Classification System
- Cosmetic Cream