Cellulite 101

Have you always been bothered by the lumpy, uneven skin on your hips, thighs, or abdomen called cellulite? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. While it’s perfectly natural to have them, especially when growing older, some people consider it a bane and opt to look for ways to improve the appearance of cellulite

What Is Cellulite and What Causes It?

Often called orange peel or cottage cheese skin because of its dimpled appearance, cellulite is a skin condition that affects about 9 out of 10 women. Not much is known about what exactly causes cellulite formation. What’s known is that cellulite develops from the interaction of the middle layer of the skin with the connective tissues, fats, and muscles underneath it.

Septae, or the tissue fibers connecting skin and muscle, are made of collagen and elastin. Compartmentalized between these columns of tissues are fat cells. As your body ages, it produces less collagen and elastin. Aging also leads to decreased estrogen production and makes your skin thin and loose. As a result, the connective tissues weaken, and fat cells push against the skin, giving it an uneven or orange peel look and texture.

There are four grades of cellulite.

· Grade 00: There is no visible dimpling on the skin even when pinched or pressure is applied. However, changes in your body may be ongoing at a microscopic level.

· Grade 01: At this level, your skin will look dimply when you squeeze or pinch it.

· Grade 02: Cellulite can be seen when you stand up but not when you’re lying down.

· Grade 03: Dimply or lumpy skin appears whether you’re standing or lying down. Sometimes the lumps can be painful. 

What Factors Affect the Development of Cellulite?

As mentioned above, cellulite develops when collagen, elastin, and estrogen in your body decrease, causing your connective tissues to become weaker. But why do other people have more visible cellulite?

Several factors may influence cellulite formation:

Connective tissue pattern

Cellulite is more common in women than in men because of the position of the tissues that connect the skin to the muscles. In women, connective tissues are perpendicular to the skin, while in men, the connective tissues are in an X shape. This crisscross pattern prevents the fatty cells from expanding and bulging against the skin.

Genetics

Some studies show that there is a gene variant that is responsible for cellulite production. If your mom or grandma has that gene variant, then you’re inclined to have it too.

Lifestyle

If you smoke, don’t exercise, and spend too much time sitting or lying down, you can be more prone to having cellulite. Your skin can be more susceptible to cellulite development if you eat food with too much salt, sugar, and carbohydrates.

How Can I Get Rid of Cellulite?

There’s no permanent treatment for cellulite, but several options are available to make them less noticeable.

Weight management    

Cellulite can manifest not only in overweight or obese individuals but also in people who are slim and thin. Weight management through exercise can help get rid of fat and tone your muscles. Physical activity, combined with eating a balanced diet, can help reduce the appearance of cellulite naturally.

Topical treatments

Creams, ointments, and scrubs can help make cellulite less visible. They also help make the skin feel smoother and firmer. Some creams contain caffeine, which is known to increase blood flow. Others have retinol as the active ingredient to strengthen the skin’s outer layer.

Medical procedures

Laser treatments coupled with liposuction help in minimizing the appearance of cellulite. For liposuction and abdominoplasty patients, ultra-cavitation serves as a post-op treatment that can aid in cellulite reduction.

Reduce Cellulite, Regain Your Confidence

Is cellulite getting in the way of your confidence and preventing you from wearing what you want to wear? At Palmer Cosmetic Surgery, our team of medical professionals can help you achieve your desired look. Visit us here to know more about our services.

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