Cellulite is a common term used to describe overfilled fat pockets right under your skin. These are fat cells that have become enlarged causing these cells to take up more space between the skin’s connective tissues than normal. The fat then expands these spaces resulting in the overlying skin dimpling, often called the orange peel effect.
It appears in ninety percent of post-adolescent women and is rarely seen in men. Common areas where cellulite is found, are the thighs, buttocks, and the abdomen. Contrary to popular belief, cellulite is not related to obesity, since it occurs in overweight, normal, and thin women. Cellulite causes many image problems and many women avoid wearing short skirts or shorts because of it.
Some of the contributing factors for developing cellulite are:
Heredity. However, you can still do a lot to fight cellulite.
Not drinking enough water. Water helps flush toxins and waste from your body. Drink seven to eight glasses of water a day.
Diet. Poor eating habits (alcohol, caffeine, spicy or fatty foods) contribute to the formation of cellulite because the toxins they produce get trapped in the fatty tissue. Saturated fats block the arteries and get trapped in the tissue as well, preventing sufficient waste and toxin elimination.
Smoking is not only bad for the skin and lungs, but it weakens the skin by causing constriction of capillaries. It also damages the connective tissue and can increase the dimpling effect of cellulite.
Tension and stress can cause a muscle to seize up in pain; they can also cause the connective tissue that covers that muscle to seize up. Tension can also block the tissue, preventing proper waste elimination and purification.
Medication can disturb the body’s natural processes, disturbing the purification system that is naturally in place. Diet pills, sleeping pills and diuretics can all lead to cellulite; oral contraceptives, which increase the body’s oestrogen, cause fat cells to enlarge, leading to water retention. Retaining water inhibits the body from flushing the system of toxins, leading to the formation of cellulite.
Lack of exercise contributes to the formation of cellulite. Exercise decreases many health risks and also helps fight cellulite. It improves muscle tone, circulation and overall well-being, helping to break blocked tissue and purify the body.
There are three main treatments for cellulite; namely, endermologie, cosmetic surgery, and topical creams or lotions.
The Endermologie machine, developed in France over a decade ago, has been found to have an effect in fighting cellulite. It uses rollers and gentle suctioning to deeply massage the affected areas, increasing circulation. Toxins and abnormal water buildup are expelled as connective fibres are stretched. Endermologie also exfoliates the skin, leaving it soft and silky. The increased circulation may give you a natural energy boost. Many sessions are normally needed. This can add up to several hundred dollars.
Treatments like liposuction (surgery to remove fat) and mesotherapy (injection of drugs into cellulite) are either expensive or may produce only temporary improvement. Many doctors advise against liposuction to reduce cellulite because it is designed to remove deep fat instead of cellulite, which is close to the skin. This is performed by a plastic surgeon and can be expensive compared to other methods. Consult with your doctor if you want to explore this further.
Cellulite Creams or Lotions
This is the safest and most popular way to reduce the problem. Because cellulite is actually little pockets of fat under your skin, your blood circulation does not easily reach these areas. Specially formulated creams can help.
Some of the ingredients used in these products include :
Algae extract – which can help break down fat and increase your metabolism.
Green tea extracts – will back up the algae extract and increase the rate at which your fat is broken down to form smooth tissue.
Retinol A – a compound that is a derivative of Vitamin A and targets your skin and connective tissues directly to condition and strengthen. Retinol A has a rejuvenating effect on your skin, and will decrease your cellulite while preventing it from becoming worse over time. It can improve your skin’s texture, so your skin will become smoother and firmer and this helps your cellulite vanish even faster.
Creams or lotions are the most economical of the three treatments, however like the others, it may take a couple of months to see measurable results.