Aging. It’s a complex process that can leave behind several tell-tale signs. One of those being the dreaded cellulite you see on your body as the birthdays start to pass by. What is cellulite? Why do we get it? And why on Earth does it look like that? Cellulite is a much-talked about and problematic beauty condition that can keep even the most confident of women down and out. Let’s examine what cellulite is, how it happens and what you can do to prevent it.
WHAT IS CELLULITE AND WHY DOES IT HAPPEN?
You’ve heard the term thrown around for years and lately, you’ve begun to experience cellulite yourself. Cellulite is often termed the “cottage-cheese” effect or “orange peel skin” because of its dumpling-like appearance that looks lumpy underneath the skin. It’s a skin condition that generally affects the dermal and subdermal compartments of your skin, usually showing up on the thighs and buttocks. However, cellulite can show up in other places as well. (Under the arms anyone?) Cellulite is essentially a collection of fat pockets that occurs when fatty deposits push up through the connective tissue that lies in the skin’s layers. It’s increasingly common as you age and can show up no matter what size you are and though less common, it can also affect men. Men and women do have different cell structures in place which also may explain why it’s more common in women than men. Some cellulite may be outwardly visible or you may need to give your thighs a squish to see it hanging out beneath your skin. Scientists believe hormones (specifically a decrease in estrogen, insulin or thyroid hormones) or other health reasons are to blame for its creation in the body. A lack of activity from a sedentary lifestyle is also being studied as a common cause, though it’s just as common in those people who are naturally thin. The idea is that poor blood circulation may play a role. Genetic factors also predispose you to have cellulite. The combination of all the above could explain why so many people suffer from cellulite. The severity of your cellulite can also vary. With the lowest grade being an orange peel like appearance, the next grade having superficial depressions and the most severe kind leaving sagging depressions in the skin. Though cellulite can be extremely bothersome, it doesn’t have any harmful effect on your health.
There are many treatments available on the market that help to reduce the amount of cellulite you’re experiencing. To find the best treatment for cellulite, you want to look for a treatment that reduces the fat layer, improves elasticity and separates the fatty deposits from the connective tissue. Though there isn’t a bonafide end-all treatment for preventing cellulite forever, the American Academy of Dermatologists has tested several methods for review that actually make a big impact during the short-term. You may have heard of the following treatments:
Topical Treatments. Usually coming in the form of caffeine, vitamins or herbal supplements, these creams are applied to the area and promote the breakdown of fat. Retinol creams are showing great benefits when applied with other types of topical treatments. When buying a cellulite cream, look for one containing an L-carnitine to boost results.
Massage. The power of human touch is a huge booster of immunity and circulation. Getting one helps increase your blood flow and help improve cellulite.
Wave Therapy. A form of low energy waves that are non-invasive and applied to the skin. When given twice a week for 6 or more weeks, the results were seen for up to 6 months after.
Subcision. A semi-invasive procedure where a tiny blade is used to separate the connective tissue from the fatty deposits. Results can last up to 2 years.
Laser Treatment. Light therapy is used to promote collagen growth and increase blood flow. Treatments usually reduce cellulite for up to 6 months.
Carboxytherapy. Works by pumping carbon dioxide into the skin to promote blood flow and circulation, prompting your body to reduce cellulite buildup.
Radio Therapy. Radio waves are used to create electrical currents that help to heat up the fat cells and thus eliminate the cellulite. Results last for a short time and treatment can be invasive or non-invasive depending on the severity of your cellulite.
Other treatments that haven’t been reviewed by the AAD but that have shown results in fighting cellulite though you need to use at your own discretion. These include:
Cryolipolysis. A non-invasive treatment that freezes the fat cell. Your body then removes the fat cell from the body. Commonly used in body shaping, it may also benefit cellulite removal but it takes a few treatments over a few months to work.
Mesotherapy. A process where a mixture of substances is added to the skin.
When it comes to getting rid of cellulite, there are many ways you can help boost your body’s natural mechanisms. For starters, eat a diet high in fiber and protein, and lower in sugars, salts, and fats. Try to do a weekly physical activity to help counteract a sedentary lifestyle. Swimming and strength training are both great ways to reach trouble spots like the thighs and buttocks. Staying hydrated is also a great way to keep cellulite at bay. Dehydrated skin can cause cellulite to show through the otherwise normal-textured skin, so remember to keep a water bottle with you throughout the day to ensure your skin is properly hydrated.
Cellulite is a bothersome symptom of aging but it doesn’t have to take over your self-esteem. There are several treatments available to help you conquer the cellulite for several years to come. Changing up your lifestyle is the key component needed to help prevent cellulite but thankfully there are many treatments available to help restore your confidence. Being aware of what’s happening on the inside and outside of your body now can help you reap big skin benefits later. Bye-Bye Cellulite, Hello Gorgeous New You!