Cellulite: What Can You Do About It?
Disgusted by the cellulite and want to get rid of it? Use this quick reference guide to find out more about treating cellulite.
Cottage cheese, orange peel, or even oatmeal are words often used to describe the appearance of cellulite on the skin. This is because it makes the skin looks puckered, lumpy or dimpled. It can be unsightly to some, but is considered a cosmetic condition. Cellulite most often shows up on the stomach, thighs, or butt, although it can show up in other places as well. Women tend to have it more than men, and those who are overweight have a more pronounced case of it as compared to those who are leaner. However, most experts state that everyone has some amount of cellulite on their body.
So, if you do not want it, how do you get rid of it? There is good news, and bad news where it comes to cellulite. You cannot get rid of it completely. That is the bad news. The good news is that there are a wide range of processes that reduce it or improve its appearance. Many of these ways can be done at home with little to no cost. Other procedures require the skill and expertise of a cosmetic surgeon.
What is Cellulite Really?
Cellulite, in its most basic description, is a collection of fatty deposits that push against your skin. However, it is considered a cosmetic condition and is not painful. Both men and women can get cellulite deposits, but women tend to get it more. Most experts believe this is due to the hormonal difference between men and women. Additionally, as women age, the skin thins and makes cellulite show up even more. Weight gain also makes cellulite more noticeable.
No one really knows what causes cellulite. It forms when the skin that attaches to your muscle with fibrous bands tightens irregularly. This causes the puckering so often associated with cellulite.
Physicians classify cellulite into four different grades. Grade 0, as it implies, is someone who has zero cellulite. Grade 1 is where your skin mostly appears smooth, only dimpling mildly when you sit down. Grade 3 you have extreme dimpling whether you are standing or sitting.
Can you get rid of unwanted cellulite?
It is possible to lessen the appearance of cellulite, and many of those processes you can do at home on your own. Cellulite is not tied to body shape, as many lean individuals also have some amount of cellulite. Family heredity, hormonal function, and more affect how much cellulite your body is likely to produce. If the at-home processes do not work for you, then it may be time to speak to a cosmetic surgeon who can offer quite a range of interventions. Here are a few of the at-home cellulite reduction methods to try first.
If you get regular physical exercise, it can reduce the appearance of cellulite. It works because regular exercise not only increases muscle mass (flattening the cellulite), but it also increases blood flow. Increased circulation speeds up the rate at which fat is processed. Good activities to adopt include cycling, running and resistance training.
Exercise and diet go hand in hand when it comes to your body’s overall health. Bad eating habits that include high amounts of carbohydrates, salt, sugar, and preservatives almost guarantee your cellulite sticks around. A good rule of thumb is to cut back on processed foods, high fructose sugar items, and increase the number of leafy greens, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
Many people swear by certain herbal supplements. However, none of these claims have been supported by the FDA. Still, anecdotal evidence suggests that Ginkgo biloba increases blood flow, and an increase in blood flow does contribute to a reduction in cellulite. Likewise, is grape-seed extract. It also increases blood flow throughout the body with much the same effect as Gingko.
Get a Tan
It seems far-fetched, but if you get a tan the appearance of cellulite is reduced. Light skinned individuals may want to use a self-tanner to make rough and uneven skin harder to spot. The premise is that cellulite is harder to see on darker skin.
With attention on blood flow, the idea of massage is also a way to reduce the prevalence of cellulite. Reducing fluid buildup as well as increasing the flow of blood to the area results in better looking skin. Many cosmetic surgeons offer a non-invasive type of massage called endermology. It is a machine that applies suction and massage to your skin. Deep muscle massage breaks up the tissue causing the dimples, while blood flow is increased by the suction. However, it is only a short-term solution as most report that after three months they must have another treatment. Also, if you do this too many times over a long period of time, it could cause your skin to slacken prematurely.
Medical Interventions for Cellulite
If none of the above at-home treatments give you the results you want, then a visit to a cosmetic surgeon might be in order. These types of doctors have a wide array of treatments, many of them non-invasive, to combat the appearance of cellulite, if only temporarily. Some of the treatments include:
Mesotherapy: injecting various types of drugs directly into the cellulite.
Prescription lotions containing high amounts of caffeine or retinol.
Deep tissue massage to break fibers and puff skin.
More involved treatments include a visit to the doctor for a more intense procedures, which include:
Laser Treatments: This is a treatment that combines massage, liposuction, and light therapy. The results are that fat is liquified, puckering is reduced significantly, collagen is boosted, skin is tightened, and blood flow increased. Most report that such a treatment lasts up to 6 months. The most popular FDA approved treatment of this kind goes by the name Cellulaze.
Subcision: While this treatment is invasive, it is minimally invasive in that the surgeon numbs you up, then goes in and cuts away the connective tissue causing the dimples. Expect 20-30 individual sites to be treated in the span of an hour. Most report that this procedure lasts up to 2 years.Shockwave Therapy: This is the same technology used by surgeons to break up kidney stones. Except in this instance, it breaks up those connective tissues causing cellulite. It is a procedure that is spread out over a couple of months, and you must go for treatment twice a week to get results.