Cellulite is the development of bumps and pits in the skin. It is commonly known as orange-peel or cottage-cheese skin.
Although cellulite is predominantly seen in women, it can affect both genders. The preponderance of cellulite in women may be due to the difference in the fat distribution in comparison to males. Cellulite is a fairly common condition, with more than 80 percent of women experiencing cellulite during their lifetime.
Depending on the number and extensiveness of cellulite, it has been classified into three grades: Mild, Moderate and Severe. Severe grades of cellulite develop a mattress appearance in wide surface areas of skin.
Causes of Cellulite formation
As of now, the underlying mechanism of cellulite development is not clearly understood. However it is known that it results from an abnormal interaction between the connective tissue in the dermis and the fatty layer just below the dermis. As the excess fat builds up, it results in protrusion of fat into the skin tethered down by connective tissues.
Due to the nature of the vertical arrangement of fat cells and connective tissue in women, women are more likely to get cellulite. Unlike women, men have a crisscross nature of tissue which reduces their risks for cellulite. Apart from the structural difference in men and women, hormonal factors also play an important role in cellulite development.
Hormones such as estrogen and prolactin have been implicated in the increased production of cellulite. In women, decreased estrogen levels during or after menopause can indirectly result in cellulite as it can lower the blood flow to connective tissue. Reduced blood flow can lower oxygen levels and hence decrease collagen synthesis which can worsen the appearance of cellulite. Additionally, adipose tissues may enlarge with declining levels of estrogen.
Weak connective tissue and larger fat cells result in cellulite as the fat cells bulge through the connective tissue into the skin., giving the skin a dimpled appearance. Moreover, the skin loses its elasticity with age which further increases the risk of cellulite.
Unhealthy Diet Increases Risk of Cellulite
Consuming trans fat, saturated fat, excess carbohydrates and salt are known risk factors for cellulite development.
In addition to an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise and smoking have been strongly associated with cellulite. Although it is more prevalent in women above age 25, younger females including teenagers with excess fat buildup can also develop cellulite.
A variety of treatment techniques are currently being used for reducing the appearance of cellulite such as:
- Sound wave therapy: By delivering acoustic sound waves into the deeper layers of skin, it breaks up the tethered connective tissues. However numerous sessions may be required for visible results.
- Lasers: Lasers can be used to directly break the connective tissue bands by inserting a laser modem under the skin thereby reducing the appearance of cellulite.
- Subcision: A shorter term for subcutaneous incisionless surgery, Subscision is done by a dermatologist using a cannula or hypodermic needle inserted below the skin to break the connective tissue bands.
- Radiotherapy, liposuction and cryolipolysis are some other techniques that can be used to improve cellulite. But most of the above treatments can only produce temporary effects.
- Topical Medications: Retinol accelerates the skin turnover rate and can increase skin thickness. Daily application of retinol for 6 months along with caffeine which dehydrates fat cells may improve the appearance of cellulite. For a quicker solution you should take a look at HerSolution Sculpt System a product that was specifically designed to firm up those problem areas.
Healthy Diet and Exercise
The best way to improve the appearance of cellulite is to reduce the amount of fat in your body, which can decrease their protrusion into the skin. A healthy diet, adequate exercise and avoiding cigarette smoking can all be helpful to decrease body fat and subsequently reduce cellulite.