In a nutshell ….the dimpled appearance of Cellulite is caused by fat deposits pushing through the connective tissue beneath the skin.
Physicians refer to cellulite as edematous ‘fibrosclerotic panniculopathy (EFP)’. It usually affects the buttocks and thighs but can also occur in other areas. Even thin women can have cellulite!
• Weak collagen structure of the skin
• Hormonal changes
• Being overweight or having increased body fat
• Lack of physical activity
• Poor diet
• Fluid retention
• Lack of circulation (blood flow)
Why does cellulite effect women more than men?
Cellulite can affect both men and women. However it is more common in females, due to the different distributions of fat, muscle, and connective tissue. Women’s fat is typically distributed in the thighs, hips and buttocks — which are common areas for cellulite.
As women age, their bodies produce less estrogen. Less estrogen can lead to poorer circulation. This can contribute to a decrease in new collagen production and the breakdown of older connective tissue.
People often think that getting older causes cellulite. However it’s more that the effects of mature skin make cellulite more noticeable. Ie ..it can ‘appear’ worse because as the skin ages, it becomes thinner and loses elasticity.
Exercise can decrease the appearance of cellulite
Regular exercise boosts circulation and can help disguise cellulite by increasing muscle tone under the skin. Exercise also improves lymphatic drainage, which carries toxins away from cells. If drainage is sluggish it will contribute to cellulite.
Also, having more muscle makes your skin look smoother and firmer.
Hormones can play a role in cellulite development. Estrogen, insulin, noradrenaline, thyroid hormones, and prolactin influence the cellulite production process.
Dehydration can causes thinner (as well as drier & weaker) skin – which has a much greater tendency to show cellulite.
It’s also believed that not getting enough water can cause toxic buildup in the fat cells (that is then difficult for the body to metabolise).
Cigarette smoke reduces blood flow and circulation, which weakens and disrupts the formation of collagen. This causes the connective tissue to stretch, weaken and become damaged more easily. As a result, more cellulite will show through.
Genetic factors can be linked to a person’s speed of metabolism, distribution of fat under the skin, and circulatory levels. These can affect the chance of cellulite developing.
Cellulite is a difficult condition to treat, there is no procedure on the market that effectively removes all cellulite permanently. However, the appearance of cellulite can be reduced using a combination of lifestyle changes and medical grade technologies.
Some procedures for cellulite really do work, however the results are often temporary.
Laser treatment – Also called Radiofrequency (RF)
May improve the appearance of cellulite for up to a year or more.
Cellfina – This Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared minimally invasive treatment is proven to improve the appearance of cellulite for at least two years.
After the area is numbed, a Doctor inserts a small device through the skin near each cellulite dimple. There is a tiny, rapidly vibrating blade on the end of the device, which divides the band causing the cellulite dimple. This is repeated for each dimple until the procedure is complete. The downside: It costs around $4K and you will have some temporary bruising.
See more about Cellfina here.
Cellulaze – Similarly to Cellfina, this procedure is designed to break down the structure of cellulite beneath your skin—except it uses lasers rather than blades.
This popular FDA-approved laser treatment involves a doctor injecting numbing solution (into the area to be treated), then a laser is inserted under the skin. It shoots heat in three directions. A 75% improvement is expected. The small laser helps increase skin thickness, release the bands that create dimples, stimulate collagen production, and flatten out fat. Results are supposed to last for about a year or two.
Cryolipolysis – This treatment can reduce fat by freezing the lipids in fat cells. While it can be very effective for getting rid of small pockets of unwanted fat, it will only slightly (if at all) decrease cellulite.
Velashape – This handheld device uses infrared light to help reduce fat layers. It’s FDA-approved, and is considered a non-invasive treatment (meaning it doesn’t require injections or cuts). It involves a combination of infrared therapy and mechanical massage to increase lymphatic drainage, while reducing the actual size of the fat cells and fat chambers. The device is pressed on the surface of skin, with results starting to appear after about four treatments.
Subcision – Involves a specialist putting a needle under the skin to break up the connective tissue bands. Results can last 2 years or more.
Carboxytherapy – Involves inserting carbon dioxide gas under the skin. ‘Some’ cellulite might disappear. Side effects include bruising and discomfort after the procedure,
Endermologie – Involves a deep massage with a vacuum-like device that lifts the skin. The (FDA) have approved it as safe, however there is little evidence that it is guaranteed to reduce cellulite.
Skin-firming creams? – There is limited evidence proving creams or scrubs with stimulant ingredients (like caffeine, ginger and green or black tea), help by improving circulation and breaking down fat-cell stores. However products containing Retinol may help create a slightly thicker skin cover that can help camouflage cellulite.