Cellulite – What Causes it and How to Get Rid of it!
It’s the pesky cosmetic skin condition that is so common, it affects nearly 90% of women at some point in their lives, yet many of us still don’t really understand what cellulite is, and what we can do to get rid of it.
So, before we take a look at the possible treatment options, let’s get some facts straight about cellulite.
Facts About Cellulite
Cellulite is Not Fat
Let’s start by saying that, contrary to popular thoughts, cellulite is not fat. Anyone, regardless of body size and shape can get cellulite. The trademark dimples and bumps that are seen beneath the skin in someone with cellulite, appear when collagen fibres that bind fat to the skin are stretched and tear.
Jodie Maxted owner of Laser Skin & Vein Clinic in South Australia explains, ‘We see a lot of women who complain about their cellulite, it is not restrictive to age or size, and as a clinician it is one of the more stubborn complaints to treat. We have a system by which we categorise the severity of cellulite and then set about to initiate a plan to get best results.”
Women are More Likely to Have Cellulite Than Men
Yep, because menstruation and childbirth aren’t enough, we also have to deal with cellulite too! Apparently, the skin collagen in women is arranged in parallel rows like pillars, whilst male collagen follows an X pattern, which largely prevents the dimpling appearance of the skin. Damn it!
Cellulite Won’t Disappear if You Lose Weight
Whilst having more body fat certainly increases your chance of having visible cellulite, unfortunately dropping a few dress sizes won’t see your cellulite woes disappear along with the weight. That is because the tissue beneath your skin has already been stretched creating the pockets beneath the skin.
Exercise Can Help Prevent or Reduce the Appearance of Cellulite
Unfortunately, whilst exercise can’t cure cellulite it can certainly help to prevent it or reduce its appearance. That is because firming and tightening your muscles can help to tighten your skin, making the cellulite less noticeable.
Cellulite is Hereditary
That’s right! If someone in your family has cellulite you are more likely to get it too. Although, genetics isn’t the only contributing factor. For example, diet, exercise, weight management, hormone imbalances, inflammation and other lifestyle factors all play a role.
Smoking Can Make Cellulite Worse!
In case you needed an extra reason to give cigarettes the flick, smoking has been shown to be a contributing factor in the appearance of cellulite. It all comes down to the how smoking reduces blood vessel flow, which weakens and disrupts the formation of the all-important collagen. Insufficient collagen means that connective tissues can become stretched and damaged more easily, allowing the underlying pockets of fat to show through the skin more apparently.
Cellulite Gets Worse with Age
If it seems like you have more cellulite now than you did when you were younger, it’s because you probably do. As we age, women produce less estrogen. The effect of this can mean poorer circulation, a decrease in collagen production and a breakdown of connective tissues – meaning, you guessed it, more visible cellulite.
Treatment for Cellulite
So, what we all really want to know is, can you treat cellulite and if so, which treatments are best. We invited skin expert Jodie Maxted to take us through the available treatments and the results you can expect from them.
Over The Counter Treatments
“In regard to creams,” Jodie explains “I would recommend using them as a line of defence against developing cellulite rather than a fix. If the cellulite is low grade, the only cream I would recommend would be a vitamin A cream containing retinol/retinoid/ retinoic acid such as Retinol VitA, as it may reduce the appearance of cellulite through its rejuvenating ability to thicken the skin. However, you would need to use this topical treatment for at least six months to see results, so it does require patience and certainly isn’t a quick fix.”
“Actual treatments that we would advise for cellulite at Laser Skin and Vein Clinics are all driven toward the tightening and strengthening of the skin. The down side to cellulite is that for optimal results multiple treatments are required. Our first line of attack would be with the Venus Legacy. “
“The Venus Legacy™ system is one of the most advanced non-invasive medical devices used to effectively reduce the appearance of cellulite. It does this by delivering deep heating with radiofrequency and pulsed electromagnetic fields, which has been proven to tighten skin and reduce cellulite. It has minimal downtime, no pain and safe for all skin types. There is increased demand for this safe, proven treatment for improving appearance by firming, tightening and reshaping the face and body’s contours.”
The treatment can take from 20 to 30 minutes depending on what areas you are having treated. Typically, it takes between 6 and 10 treatments (separated by 1 week) to effect optimal results. Clients’ have described it as a hot rock massage with a little ‘tingle’. Maintaining your desired appearance can be accomplished with less frequent sessions as a follow up to your initial treatments. You are slightly red post procedure which resolves quickly usually ½ hour post procedure. The stimulation continues after sessions as it is the body’s natural rejuvenating response to the heat treatment. There is really no downtime as a result of these procedures, thus there is no recovery period.”
“As a second line of defence, for stubborn cellulite or fast results, we’d recommend Sculptra.
“Sculptra is made up of poly-L-lactic acid, which is a safe synthetic form of a lactic acid. The injectable is a natural bio-activator that stimulates the body to produce more collagen. The renewed collagen enables production of elastin and Hyaularonic Acid (HA) to improve skin strength and integrity. Unfortunately, collagen production is dramatically slowed from natural aging and a reduction in hormones, and also just the way our collagen is arranged all leads to less strength to hold the fat cells in, thus allowing them to be more prominent. Sculptra promotes the body’s creation of collagen to help restore inner structure by rebuilding elastin and HA. This rebuilding of skin strength helps to restore the tightness of skin and enable it to hold in the fat cells that are obvious in cellulite formation and reduces the prominence.”
“This treatment takes about an hour and there is no downtime. It is injected, therefore there may be some bruising associated with it but you can return to normal daily activities straight away. And post care you need to massage the injected area 5 times a day for about 5 mins 5 days post procedure, the rule of 555. Follow up treatment is usually performed 8 weeks post first treatment. “
Sick of your cellulite, but unsure which treatment option would suit you best. We’d recommend booking an appointment with a qualified skin specialist who will be able to properly assess your area of concern and give you advice based on your individual case, taking into account your budget and expectations.
“Whatever device or treatment you choose though,” warns Jodie, “always make sure that your technician is licensed and has received proper training.”
Visit laserskinandvein.com.au to book your consultation today.