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QWO Cellulite Injections

If there is a universal bane of women, it’s cellulite. Nine out of 10 women have the telltale dimpled thighs and buttocks caused by cellulite, and it doesn’t matter what kind of shape you’re in. Cellulite forms due to the structural makeup of female skin, and balms and creams applied to the surface skin don’t do anything to lessen the cellulite beneath.

At Acqua Medspa we now have a new tool called QWO®, an injectable for diminishing cellulite. The FDA has approved these injections for treatment of cellulite on the buttocks. We’re excited to offer these treatments at Acqua Medspa as they actually break down the fibrous collagen bands that cause cellulite.

What is the cause of cellulite?


Cellulite is a misunderstood phenomenon. Most women think they have cellulite thanks to a few extra pounds or some fat that has taken up residence on their bottom and thighs. Reality? Cellulite isn’t tied to weight or fat. Losing a few pounds can lessen its appearance a bit, but it will not make it vanish.

That’s because fat isn’t the problem; the structural makeup of women’s skin is the cause. Women have connective tissue bands under their skin that are like vertical bars, trapping pockets of fat between them. The fat trapped by these tight bands pushes upward against the skin, creating lumps on the surface, next to depressions where the connective tissue is separating the fat beneath. Yes, it’s the orange peel look of cellulite. And it only gets worse as we age, and our skin thins.

This is the explanation of why skinny people can have cellulite, while heavy people may not. And men? Less than 10% have cellulite because, unlike the vertical connective tissue under women’s skin, men’s connective tissue is in an X pattern. For women, genetics plays a big role — if your mom had cellulite, you have cellulite. Hormones, aging, and weight also play a part.

What is the QWO injectable?

Cellulite may have finally met its match with QWO®. QWO® is the first and only FDA-approved injectable for the treatment of moderate to severe cellulite in the buttocks of adult women. QWO® is made from collagenase clostridium histolyticum. It smooths dimpling on the buttocks from cellulite by releasing the septae, the collagen bands that tether the skin to the muscle. QWO® injections take just 10 minutes and are delivered in three treatments, separated by 21 days between each session. In about 10 weeks, our Acqua Medspa patients have noticed visible improvements in their cellulite on their buttocks.

How does QWO work?

As mentioned above, women develop cellulite due to the connective bands attaching the skin to the structural tissues beneath. Fat is trapped inside the pockets between the bands, and it pushes up against the surface skin, creating the signature cottage cheese appearance of cellulite.

QWO® works in three ways to improve the appearance of cellulite:

  • It releases some of those fibrous bands
  • It redistributes fat cells when those bands are broken
  • It stimulates the production of new amounts of collagen

Would I be a candidate for QWO treatment?

As mentioned above, cellulite is almost universal in women, so you’d likely be a great candidate for these injections with Dr. Carpin at Acqua Medspa. QWO® has only been approved thus far for use on the buttocks. If you have cellulite there, you’d be a good candidate.

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What is a QWO session like?

QWO® is administered in a series of three treatment sessions, separated by 21 days between each session.

Dr. Carpin first marks the dimpled areas on your bottom that are to be injected. She then injects QWO® with a very small needle. Injections do not need to be made to great depth. Topical numbing cream is not necessary. Because the buttocks area has more fat and fewer nerves, these injections are not painful. Patients have told us they hurt less than Botox® injections, which also don’t necessitate the use of topical anesthetic cream when being delivered.

QWO® sessions are completely non-invasive and take just 10-20 minutes or so.

What areas can I have treated with QWO injections?

The FDA has approved QWO® for use on the buttocks only at this point.

Is there recovery after having QWO injections?

You will have some soreness across the treated areas afterwards, but it is manageable with over-the-counter pain medication, so you won’t need to make any plans for recovery. After the first of your three sessions, you may have some bruising at the injection sites.

How many QWO treatments will I need?

The FDA has approved QWO® to be administered in three injection sessions separated by 21 days between each session.

How long after my QWO® injections will I start to see results?

About one week after your third session, at roughly 10 weeks from your first session, most patients see a visible improvement and smoothing of their treated cellulite locations. Results may vary between different patients.

What are the potential side effects with QWO® treatments?

QWO® does have a risk of side effects. The most common side effects after QWO® injections include bruising, pain, areas of hardness, itching, redness, discoloration, swelling, and warmth in the treated areas.

More serious side effects are possible. These include allergic (hypersensitivity) reactions, including anaphylaxis. Bruising lessens with each subsequent treatment. In clinical trials, patients did not require any downtime and any residual bruising resolved in under 21 days.

How long will my results last from QWO injections?

QWO® is made from collagenase clostridium histolyticum. It smooths dimpling on the buttocks from cellulite by releasing the septae, the collagen bands that tether the skin to the muscle. As fat is deposited between the skin and the muscle, the telltale dimples of cellulite form due to the septae tightening the skin to the muscle between the pockets of fat.

QWO® loosens the septae chemically. These are thought to be permanent changes in the connective bands creating the dimpling, but QWO® is a new product, so there are not any long-term studies to know if the septae tighten again or not. Initial data supports longevity of at least a few years for the improved appearance of the patient’s cellulite.


Please schedule a consultation at (281) 480-1200 with Dr. Carpin to discuss if you are a candidate for QWO injectables, and to review the risks, benefits, alternatives, and expected outcomes of the procedure. Dr. Carpin offers QWO injectables for patients in Houston, League City, and Clear Lake, TX, and surrounding areas, including Friendswood, Pasadena, Kemah, Seabrook, and Galveston.

The service and staff are amazing! I came in for dysport and was a bit nervous but they made me feel very comfortable and at ease.


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