What is cellulite and how can one get rid of it? This has to be one of the most pressing issues for people, and women especially. First of all, what is cellulite? Cellulite is a term that was coined in France back in the 1970’s that was used to describe the dimpling pattern of fat found on the buttocks, hips, thighs, and even upper arms. Researchers have found that cellulite is structurally no different than deeper subcutaneous fat deposits, it is only closer to the surface.
The reason why the skin appears dimpled is related to fibrous structures that are connected to the muscle’s outer sheath, called septa. Think of the septa as a net, and envision a net full of something. It takes on a lumpy shape, does it not? So, as the buoyant fat cells enlarge, the septa “net” only becomes tighter and tighter as the fat pushes against the skin.
Part of the reason as to why women typically have more of a problem with cellulite is due to the layout of the septa and its elasticity. For men, septa is arranged in a lattice-like pattern, thus allowing more support for the fat and preventing it from squeezing through as it does with women. On the other hand, women have a more vertical, box-like structure which allows for greater fat passage. However, both types of septa are flexible enough to stave off the buoyant fat when at a young age, but as we get older, the septa becomes rigid and bears down on the fat. This is when cellulite becomes noticeable.
Now, it needs to be recognized that cellulite is also genetically determined since the more septa bands one has, the greater the cellulite deposits. Furthemore, it also needs to be known that because of its genetic nature, cellulite is just as common in thinner women as it is in larger women. A large majority of all women struggle with cellulite, not just the overweight.
Now what can be done to remove cellulite or lessen its appearance? The most sensible “first line of defense” would be to try some creams and lotions. While plenty are bogus, some actually do elicit some genuine results. An ingredient that one needs to look out for are things called methylxanthines. Caffeine is an example of a methylxanthine. Dermatologists have enough evidence to show that creams with methylxanthines actually help to pull fluids out of the spaces in between cells and induce lipolysis, or the fat burning process that takes place just beneath the skin. These creams actually trigger fat cell reduction with noticeable results actually occurring after only eight weeks.
Now as far as diets are concerned, there is a diet that has been formulated by Dr. Howard Murad that supposedly aids in cellulite reduction. His diet stresses nutrients such as lecithin, essential fatty acids, amino acids, and antioxidants. Together these reduce cellular inflammation, reduce stored fluids, and increase circulation deep in skin cells. Dr. Murad claims that by following his diet, you are strengthening your cell membranes and keeping cellulite from migrating to the surface. The only critique would be that Dr. Murad’s book, cellulite serum, and a month’s supply of vitamins costs the buyer $210. Other dermatologists have recommended a balanced diet that incorporates more fruits and vegetables will help to reduce fluid retention just as well as Dr. Murad’s clever marketing ploy.
There are other, more expensive methods, such as light therapy and mesotherapy, but they are very costly and mesotherapy is still highly controversial since it requires a “cocktail” of various medicines that would ordinarily not be prescribed for the break up of cellulite to be injected into the body. So, I won’t be covering that method in this particular article. On the other hand, light therapy has been successfully and safely used to melt cellulite as the skin is massaged to increase circulation and drain the lymph vessels. One means of light therapy, called TriActive, relies on laser light and has been proven to be successful 83% of the time. Even a checkup held three months later shows virtually no signs of regression. The other light therapy option is called VelaSmooth and uses a combination of radio frequency energy and infrared light to heat up and then release cellulite from cells.
At the same time, the Velasmooth device rolls over the skin in a massaging motion, using suction to break up and restore some elasticity to the septa bands. Finally, if money is no option, then look into light therapy, but TriActive light therapy will cost $1200 for eight weeks of treatments and ten VelaSmooth treatments will cost as much as $2000. Ideally, one should look first into supplementing their diet with more fruits and vegetables, and trying some of the methyxanthine cellulite creams for at least 2 months.
Also, try to take some before and after photos to document the differences. All is not hopeless when it comes to cellulite and remember that between 85%- 98% of all postpubescent women have cellulite, and yes, even the prettiest and thinnest stars of Hollywood struggle just as you do. So, don’t despair, but if you must, focus on your diet and any of the previously mentioned modes of treatment and you’ll truly be surprised by the difference they can make.
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