Meet QWO: The Fast Growing Treatment Trending From The Face To The Fanny

Amy B. Lewis, M.D. graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania. She then received her Medical Degree, with the highest honors, from the Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Lewis then moved to the New York area for a medical internship at Cornell/New York Hospital and completed her Dermatology residency at Downstate Medical Center as Chief Resident. She returned to Yale for a fellowship in Dermatological Laser and Reconstructive Surgery. After completing this specialized training, Dr. Lewis began working in private practice, while also performing several clinical studies pioneering Dermatological lasers at the Washington Institute for Dermatological Laser Surgery. She then settled in Manhattan, where she has built a premier private practice specializing in Cosmetic and Laser dermatology. Haute Beauty expert Dr. Amy Lewis addresses the question of treating cellulite with a new FDA-approved treatment, QWO. 

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

If you are looking at this article, it's probably because you want to improve your health and well-being, are interested in treatments to ward off the need for extensive intervention in the future by starting early (avoiding getting deep lines, sagging skin, etc.), and are in search for preventative measures, "pre-rejuvenation," to help your skin and body age better. In general, you prefer non-surgical, minimally invasive alternatives that offer little to no downtime because you don't want to cut into your skin and body unless it is necessary. If that's the case, there is a quiz for you:

  1. What has a "cottage cheese" or "orange peel" texture?
  2. What looks "rumpled," "bumpy," "lumpy," and "dimply?'
  3. What can appear like "peaks and valleys?"

I'll give you a clue: it's a very common skin condition most prevalent in women.

I'm not the debbie downer in this article; the answer to the quiz is cellulite.

If you don't know QWO, you will when you finish reading this article. A fast-growing trend from "the face to the fanny," is QWO, the first and only FDA-approved prescription injectable treatment for moderate to severe cellulite in the hips and buttocks.

Cellulite is a localized alteration in the skin's contour mostly around the thighs, hips, and buttocks. Over time, three normal changes in the body can occur: fat cells get larger, the skin thinner and looser, and the fibrous bands under the skin (connecting the skin to muscle) get thicker. A pattern emerges as the bands pull down the skin, and push the fat lobules up creating a skin surface that's lumpy, dimply, and bumpy with peaks and valleys at its most severe.

Women, approximately 90%, of all races and ethnicities, all shapes and sizes, are prone to cellulite, and there's no safe discrimination to boot! Men are less affected because their skin is thicker than women's, their collagen bands under the skin connect to muscle differently, essentially eliminating the possibility of the fat lobules to bulge.

We've all tried to improve the appearance of cellulite through weight loss, exercise, massage, and creams, or invasive cutting techniques with frustrating drawbacks and uncertain variable results. It has been historically a challenge to treat cellulite - until QWO.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

I'd like to address the question of treating cellulite because cellulite is not harmful. But, is it harmless? Treatment isn't necessary, or is it?

Here are some findings taken by the Harris Poll Company in 2020:

  • 60% of women believe cellulite is their fault due to diet or lack of exercise
  • 77% of women spend time or effort dealing with cellulite
  • 57% of women feel judged because of cellulite, 64% feel self-conscious, 44% feel unhealthy, 42% frustrated
  • 74% of women feel no matter what they do they will always have cellulite
  • 77% of women wish their physicians would tell them more about treatment options that talk about the root causes of cellulite

Cellulite is not only on your skin, it's on your mind when in front of the mirror, on the beach, getting dressed, and when and where else? Not only is it in the foreground, so to speak, it's in the background and irritant and distraction to your busy life.

My concern in cellulite is not harmless, and it is treatable because we are addressing total and whole-body health and wellness.

Three non-surgical QWO treatments, one injection, 10 minutes or less, every 21 days. Injected enzymes (collagenase clostridium histolyticum-aaes) target Type 1 & 3 collagen in the hardened thick bands and break down the "bad" collagen in the fibrous bands. The tension on the skin surface is released, fat lobules are freed to redistribute, ridding the peaks and valleys, and smoothing out the skin.

My patients and I have gone from being pleasantly surprised to being very pleased with the results from QWO. It's safe to say that feeling better and healthier matters a lot for your mind and your body. I wholeheartedly include feeling good about yourself is mandatory for your spirit.

For more information, visit Dr. Amy B. Lewis's social media: