The FDA Just Approved the First-Ever Injectable for Cellulite

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There’s finally another in-office option for the stubborn cellulite that gives many of our bodies that orange-peel look, making us crazy during bathing suit season (right now!). Topical products can only do so much—they can’t penetrate deep enough and also don’t have the power to break up the cellulite-causing bands—and the in-office treatments that are currently available utilize more invasive methods to reach and cut the bands for smoother skin.

But, Endo Aesthetics announced today that it has received FDA approval for Qwo (collagenase clostridium histolyticum-aaes), making it the first and only injectable treatment indicated to treat moderate-to-severe cellulite on the buttocks in adult women. According to the brand, when injected into the treatment area, Qwo is thought to release the fibrous septae enzymatically by specifically targeting Types 1 and 3 collagen, which may result in smoothing of the skin and an improved appearance of cellulite. However, it’s important to note that no cellulite treatment is a magic bullet, and like with any injectable, there may be some bruising and pain at the injection site.

“Endo recognized a significant unmet need for an effective injectable treatment for cellulite, which led us to conduct the largest clinical trials in the history of cellulite investigation in the United States,” says Dr. Matthew Davis, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Endo. “Supported by rigorous research, testing and development processes, we are proud to have received FDA approval of the first injectable treatment for cellulite in the buttocks, and we look forward to delivering Qwo to the aesthetics community and their adult female patients.”

New York dermatologist Marnie Nussbaum, MD says cellulite has long been a hot button topic, and there are major misconceptions about how we get it. “More than 90 percent of women will experience cellulite in their lifetimes: 36 percent is hereditary and the rest is related to hormones. And as we age and our skin laxity increases on areas like the thighs and butt, it makes cellulite dimples even more visible. When we eat unhealthy and you gain weight, it makes the cellulite look worse, but the cellulite itself doesn’t get worse—the fat pushes the cellulite out. If you think about it, losing weight doesn’t take it away. Men, on the other hand, have a completely different orientation of their muscle-to-fat ratio and skin cells, and they don’t have estrogen, so it doesn’t affect them the same way.”

Although Qwo has FDA approval to treat cellulite on the butt—expect to see the injectable in doctors’ offices next spring—Endo Aesthetics plans to seek approval for other areas too, such as the thighs.

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