If you hate cellulite, you are not alone. By some estimates, about 85 percent of women over 20 years old cope with the lumpy, dimpled skin that is characteristic of cellulite. As common as it is, cellulite has proven stubborn as women search for the ultimate cellulite treatment.
Although not harmful, uneven skin has an unpleasant appearance, and contrary to popular belief, it affects women who are slim as well, not just women who are overweight. Cellulite is hard to fight, but it is not impossible to get rid of, and doctors and aestheticians now have a wide range of cellulite treatments at their disposal.
What Is Cellulite?
Cellulite is the appearance of dimpled or bumpy skin, sometimes referred to as an orange peel or cottage cheese texture. The thighs and buttocks are the most common areas where cellulite appears, but a rough texture can also be visible on the lower abdomen, breasts, and upper arms.
Cellulite is more common in women than men because of its skin structure and the areas they tend to accumulate fat, and cellulite is also common in aging skin that has lost its elasticity.
What Causes Cellulite?
Despite how common and unpleasant cellulite can be, researchers are still unclear on the details of how and why cellulite forms. Cellulite forms when fat cells accumulate and push up against the skin.
At the same time, the fibrous cords that attach the skin to a muscle pull down, and this pushing and pulling results in an uneven surface. Beyond this, some researchers have theories about the details of how cellulite forms.
Some scientists maintain that if there is a lack of circulation to a particular area and poor waste removal from that area, toxic ions can be deposited, and cells can become starved of oxygen. They believe this disruption to normal cell function contributes to the formation of cellulite in that area.
How to Treat Cellulite
There are a number of ways you can combat cellulite, and the most common options include:
1. Losing Weight
One of the first ways to try and get rid of cellulite is to lose weight. Since the fatty cells pushing up on the skin cause an uneven appearance, reducing the amount of fat should theoretically reduce the lumpiness. However, this method is not foolproof.
Depending on the resilience of the skin, it may not snap back to an even appearance, even with fat loss. Even when women are slim, they can still have cellulite, but losing weight through diet and exercise is still the first step in improving the look of cellulite.
If losing weight can help reduce the look of cellulite, then theoretically, liposuction should help. However, this is not always the case. Although liposuction can help slim areas of the body, as a surgeon suctions out fat cells, the procedure may actually make cellulite appear worse as the fat is lost, but the skin remains loose.
Treatments such as laser-assisted liposuction may help improve the look of cellulite as it simultaneously removes fat and tightens skin, but surgeons are still debating how well this type of treatment works.
3. Skin Creams
Many women turn to skin creams first to fight cellulite. These anti-cellulite creams may contain vitamins, minerals, herbs, and antioxidants that the manufacturers claim will erase the appearance of cellulite.
However, there is little evidence these creams do anything at all besides moisturizing the skin, and some can even cause skin irritation.
As much as topical skin creams are not proven to reduce the appearance of cellulite, there is another topical option. Studies have suggested that applying 0.3% retinol cream to the skin twice daily can actually improve the appearance of cellulite.
However, in this study, it took six months of applying the skin cream for a visible improvement, and keeping in mind things like retinol tolerance is essential before considering the treatment.
Massage has many benefits, and some promote massage as an effective cellulite treatment. The massage therapist may give a vigorous massage by hand, or a machine may use rollers to knead the skin.
The theory is that this massage action increases blood flow to the area affected by cellulite, removing toxins and excess fluid. Some people do notice a slight improvement in their skin’s appearance after these treatments, but unfortunately, the results do not seem to last long.
Ultrasound treatments for cellulite involve directing sound waves at the fatty area. This can gradually reduce the amount of fat in that area as the skin also tightens with this gradual weight loss.
After two or three months of ultrasound treatments, people do seem to notice an improvement in the appearance of their cellulite.
Another promising cellulite treatment is cryolipolysis, also called Coolsculpting or fat freezing. In this procedure, a device cools fat cells to near freezing, causing their death and triggering inflammation in the area to reduce the amount of fat present.
As these treatments gradually remove fat from an area, the skin has time to tighten with the weight loss.
8. Lasers and Radiofrequency
Laser treatments, such as Cellulaze, target the fibrous cords that are pulling down on the skin as the fat pushes up. These treatments cut the cords to remove this imbalance and liquefy fat cells while simultaneously helping to improve skin thickness and elasticity.
Studies have suggested the look of the skin improves after just one treatment and lasts for about a year. Radiofrequency treatments, such as Exilis, Thermage, and Vanquish, use radio frequency energy, sometimes combined with ultrasound or other methods, to break down fat cells in an area and tighten skin.
Mesotherapy is the injection of a solution beneath the skin in a series of small injections to distribute the solution evenly across the target area.
These solutions can contain vitamins, minerals, herbs, enzymes, hormones, or even Aminophylline, which is an asthma drug. Some of these treatments do not seem to help remove cellulite when tested, but some do seem to help improve the look of cellulite.
One example of a mesotherapy treatment for cellulite reduction is ALIDYA™.
ALIDYA™ is a solution that contains amino acids and other ingredients that target cellulite. The manufacturers believe these ingredients help provide nutrients to tissue in the area, increase alkalinity, remove toxins, and improve circulation and oxygenation.
By improving cell function in the area, the manufacturers believe the solution can restructure the adipose tissue to be less lumpy. This, in turn, can help restore the skin to a more smooth appearance. In clinical research, after seven weeks of injections, women were satisfied with the results of their ALIDYA™ cellulite treatments.
Although it can be difficult to fight cellulite, even with weight loss, there are many options that can help restore a more even appearance to the skin.
In conclusion, cellulite is a common concern for many individuals, particularly women. Although it is not a serious medical condition, it can still affect one’s self-esteem and confidence. Fortunately, there are various ways to treat cellulite, from lifestyle changes to medical procedures.
Can you get rid of cellulite?
Although it’s not possible to completely eliminate cellulite, there are various methods that can effectively reduce its appearance. Implementing lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, as well as professional treatments like massage therapy and laser procedures, can all be helpful in minimizing the visibility of cellulite.
What makes cellulite worse?
Several factors can exacerbate cellulite, including genetics, hormonal imbalances, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, dehydration, and smoking.
How do you get rid of cellulite on your legs?
Getting rid of cellulite on your legs can be challenging, but some potential approaches include adopting a low-fat diet, drinking plenty of water, engaging in cardiovascular and strength-training exercises, using topical creams or lotions, and seeking professional treatments such as massage, ultrasound therapy, or endermologie.