Cellulite is characterized by its lumpy, bumpy texture and appearance. Some people have it and some people don’t. Usually it’s a question of genetics – if women in your family have it, there’s a good chance that you will too. However, there are some things you can do to reduce the chances or even mask the appearance of cellulite.
Skin Science: What is cellulite and how is it treated?
Cellulite is deposited fat which builds up between the skin and the muscle on the body. The lumpy texture on the skin’s surface is created as the fat builds up and stretches the connective tissue that holds the skin to the muscle. It doesn’t take much fat at all to create cellulite; even thin people can have it. Here are four ways to treat and reduce the signs of cellulite:
1. Laser-Assisted Liposuction
According to the Mayo Clinic, traditional liposuction can be used to reshape the body; however, this procedure can actually make the cellulite appearance worse. Traditional liposuction removes deep fat; cellulite is the fat directly under the skin. A newer technology for body sculpting is laser-assisted liposuction which is less invasive and much more effective in getting rid of cellulite. The laser is destructive to fat cells and is proven to tighten surrounding skin which leaves the body smoother in the areas that have been treated.
2. Cellulite Massage Treatment
In this massage, specially designed “roller” is used to grab the skin and pull it, thereby taking hold of and stretching the connective tendons that are between the skin and muscle. By stretching the tendons, more room is created for the fat deposits, therein reducing the lumpy, bumpy appearance of cellulite. This treatment produces immediate results; however, the treatment must be repeated to maintain the smoothed skin, as the tendons over time return to their original and natural length. Massage is often used as a supplement to other treatments. When used in combination with hydration, exercise and a mindful diet, massage can be quite effective.
3. Topical Treatment
Another way to treat areas suffering from cellulite is a twice daily topical treatment in the form of a 0.3% retinol cream. The retinols in the cream actually thin the skin over time, making other treatments such as massage more effective. It takes approximately six months’ application for results to be noticeable. There are other “cellulite creams” on the market – literally more than 1,000 currently for sale in retail establishments promising to treat and/or reduce the appearance of cellulite. According to a study done by WebMD, these miracle creams often contain Aminophylline, a prescription medication for the treatment of asthma. These creams do nothing but suck the water out of the blood vessels surrounding the fat deposits, water loss which is temporary at best. These creams are often extremely expensive and there is no scientific proof that they work, regardless of what the commercials or packaging promises. Add that to the risk of allergic reaction to the Aminophylline, and these creams could actually cause health problems. Over the counter cellulite creams, lotions or other topical application are not recommended. See a dermatologist or plastic surgeon for other more effective options.
4. Lifestyle Modification
If you lead a mostly sedentary lifestyle, the likelihood of cellulite accumulation is much higher. The same can be said for your diet. Making changes to your level of daily activity by adding regular exercise is the healthiest treatment for cellulite. Used in combination with a clean, low-fat diet and plenty of water, regular aerobic exercise and stretching will be the most effective long-term treatment. Not only will you feel better after these lifestyle modifications, your body will be stronger and leaner as a result.
A good rule of thumb for anything promising “instant results” is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The beauty market is a billion dollar industry and plays by a different set of rules than the Food and Drug Administration. Many products claim to produce fast and easy results to a whole host of beauty “problems,” but there are some things a cream simply cannot do. You are better off spending your money on a good pair of athletic shoes and some cute workout gear and head to the gym.
Most importantly, do your research before subjecting yourself to any sort of surgery, laser or massage treatment regimen. The more educated a consumer you are, the better choices you will make for yourself and for your health. Remember, a healthy body is naturally more attractive, so if you’re looking to improve the way you look, the solution is likely modifying your lifestyle!