Background: Cellulite describes the cutaneous dimpling of the thighs, buttocks, and hips that is seen predominately in women. Current evidence suggests that structural differences in fat architecture between the sexes account for its appearance. Mesotherapy, a method of delivering medication locally with the use of numerous cutaneous injections, has recently become a popular method to purportedly treat the condition.
Methods: An overview of cellulite and adipocyte physiology, with a literature review and appraisal of compounds commonly used in mesotherapy.
Results: Experimental studies using individual mesotherapy ingredients for other conditions suggest a number of mechanisms, including lipolysis, disrupting connective tissue and augmenting circulation, which may theoretically improve cellulite. Peer-reviewed studies have not evaluated whether these effects translate clinically.
Conclusions: Until further studies are performed, patients considering mesotherapy for cellulite must be aware that the substances currently being injected to treat this cosmetically disturbing, but medically benign, condition have not been thoroughly evaluated for safety or efficacy.