Cellulite is when the skin appears dimpled. Most people have cellulite on the thighs and the buttocks. However, sometimes, one can get it on the stomach.
Fate played a cruel trick on women that they are more affected by cellulite than men are. So much for sexy summer two-piece bathing suits. In fact, up to 80% of all women have it of some sort.
Medically known as “Oedematous fibrosclerotic panniculopathy,” (a mouthful) cellulite is where the fat cells in the body push up against the connective tissues beneath the skin (epidermis layer.) This push on the connective tissues, also known as fibrous bands leads to protruding or swelling of the cells which lead to dimpling of the skin.
As fate would have it, men have fewer connective tissues that support the skin and tougher bands that keep the fat in place. As such, they are less susceptible to cellulite. Just as well these fat deposits tend to occur on the buttocks, thighs, and hips. It’s important to note that it is not related to cellulitis. Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin.
Things you didn’t know about cellulite – facts
- It doesn’t matter what size you are, anyone can get cellulite, whether thin or not. Although bigger women have more due to more fat, even smaller women with less fat are susceptible. This is because any amount of fat can settle between the muscles, which is what causes it.
- Cellulite first comes during puberty, but it is unknown what hormones are involved in the coming of it.
- Turns out cellulite is genetic. If your mum has it, it is likely that you will get it too. This is because genes are responsible for the storage of fat and elasticity of skin, so one can inherit looser skin and more fat.
- Treatment is notoriously difficult and surprisingly, not enough research has been done into it. Perhaps in a few years, we will have a better understanding of how to deal with it.
Best Cellulite Treatment
Treatment for this condition is filled with plenty of myths and false promises. To get rid of cellulite is just not that easy. Nonetheless, below are some remedies that work and those that don’t.
Natural remedies for cellulite
Although it seems that losing fat would get rid of cellulite, it may not necessarily be the case. Losing weight too quickly would only leave loose skin making them look worse.
A combination of diet and exercise may work but this is also dependent on your skin’s elasticity- which is affected by aging and hormones. That is why toning and resistance exercises are recommended. Although there is no such thing as cellulite exercises and there is no way to spot-treat this condition, when weight loss is replaced with muscle, it helps the skin look smoother, improving their appearance.
Medical remedies for cellulite
Topical cellulite creams
The best cellulite creams usually have either caffeine or vitamin A. caffeine is supposed to work to temporarily tighten the skin which would make the bumps less visible. Some even suggest rubbing raw caffeine on the bumps directly. The creams with vitamin A are supposed to thicken the skin with the same smooth effect over time.
Although they may reduce cellulite, the improvement is rarely significant and doesn’t last for long- sometimes not even a day. One has to use the creams constantly. It is also recommended that the creams be massaged into the skin vigorously. Massage on its own is thought to help improve circulation and to pump the skin where this skin condition is.
Apart from these, here are other treatments that have longer lasting effects:
Laser treatments are supposed to be helpful in treating this skin problem. A laser shoot heat under the skin where it is inserted. The heat melts the fat and separated the connective tissue which helps to reduce wrinkling. Simultaneously, it increases the production of collagen which tightens the skin.
Cellulaze is one of the more effective treatments, lasting a year and promising almost 80% improvement in that time. It works best in those who have mild cellulite and are not overweight.
The downside is that laser treatments are expensive costing about $5000. Recovery time is short, however, lasting only a day- a week.
Subcision is another way to get rid of cellulite. With this treatment, the doctor numbs the area with anesthesia and then uses a small blade to cut the connective tissue in order to loosen the fat that is responsible for this skin dimpling. The fat is then redistributed to create an even surface.
A typical session is about hour long depending on the severity of the cellulite. Recovery time can be as short as the same day and results last up to a year. The cost varies with the size of the area to be treated, with a small area being about $2500 upwards.
Although this procedure is usually used to reduce fat around the body, it has also been found to be helpful in reducing cellulite.
In cyrolopolysis, fat cells are frozen and killed using very low temperatures below the skin. When the fat cells die, the body naturally eliminates them.
The treatment costs about $750 and takes about half an hour to an hour. Results are only visible after 3-4 months. How long they last are unknown as are the long-term side effect.
Finally, there are some treatments that are pedaled as being helpful that may actually be dangerous. So here are the treatments to be wary of:
There are two types of treatment that one should avoid when considering getting rid of cellulite. The first is liposuction which works to remove fat from the thighs, stomach, and buttocks. Though it may be recommended by doctors, when treating cellulite, it may end up leaving the area looking worse.
The second procedure to avoid is mesotherapy. This is where chemicals are injected into the fat layer under the skin to break it down. The aim to is to reduce the appearance of cellulite. However, these treatments are not known to work and the chemical poses a risk of swelling, infection, and rashes.