Insecure about cellulite? You are not alone
Yes cellulite is irritating. You must have been told more than once to love your body just the way it is. However, it is easier said than done because even the thought of revealing that dimply appearance of your thigh and butt keeps you from baring your skin in the summer. Cellulite affects women of all skin colours, sizes and ages.
Although the occurrence of cellulite is very common in women, ample research shows that cellulite makes many women feel insecure about their bodies. The struggle that women go through to get rid of cellulite is, therefore, more universal and real than you think.
What is cellulite and how is it caused?
Cellulite is a skin condition that causes the affected skin to take on a distinct appearance like the dimpled texture of an orange peel or the outer surface of cottage cheese. It mainly develops in the buttocks, thighs, back of the arms and hips. Cellulite is caused when connective tissue beneath the skin becomes weak.
Fat deposits push through the connective tissue at its weakest points causing elevations or bumps which are interspersed with dimples or depressions where the fat has not pushed through the connective tissue but where the connective tissue is, nonetheless, weak and has lost its elasticity; this is best imagined as a clothing line loosely strung from 2 poles – the ends of the line are analogous to the areas where the fat deposits have pushed through the connective tissue while the sagging middle of the clothing line is analogous to the depressions or dimples on the skin where connective tissue has become weak. These alternating bumps and depressions lead to the puckered appearance of cellulite-impacted skin.
Owing to the unique arrangement of connective tissues on a women’s body, cellulite primarily affects female population much more than it affects the male population. While 90 per cent women get affected by cellulite, only 10 per cent of men get affected with the same. Factors that play a role in cellulite occurrence include genetics, hormonal changes, diet and lifestyle.
How do you get rid of cellulite naturally?
Cellulite is stubborn. The battle against cellulite could be difficult but it is not impossible. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the appearance of the dimpled skin and get rid of cellulite at least temporarily, if not permanently.
#1. Have a healthy diet
Cut out on processed food and focus on a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables. Apart from helping in collagen production (collagen being a major component of connective tissue), a healthy and balanced diet eliminates toxins from the body and prevents the body from storing excess fat. It also keeps the body weight in check.
#2. Say no to smoking and alcohol
Collagen is the main protein found in connective tissue. The more cigarettes you smoke and the more alcohol you consume, the faster is the rate at which your collagen breaks down. This weakens the skin and accelerates the development of cellulite. Also, smoking and drinking alcohol constricts the blood vessels in the skin and worsens the appearance of cellulite.
#3. Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated is crucial if you want to prevent cellulite from forming. When your body does not get enough water, the body is unable to flush out toxins and waste. A dehydrated body causes toxins to build up in the fat cells which the body finds difficult to metabolize and that gives rise to the orange peel-like skin appearance as the fat cells push through to the top of the skin. Dehydration also weakens the skin, making it thinner. A thinner skin has a greater tendency to develop cellulite as it is easier for fat deposits to cause protrusions on the skin.
#4. Exercise regularly
Regular exercising tones and tightens the body and, as a result, reduces the appearance of cellulite. The main focus of your exercise should be on building muscles. This is because when you develop firm muscles underneath your skin, the arrangement of the muscle fibres, obstruct the fat cells in their bid to push through the connective tissue, thereby causing the skin to protrude. Building muscles also helps burn fat. More muscle means less fat to produce cellulite.
#5. Choose the right underwear
Reduced circulatory activity means increased appearance of cellulite. Chances of getting cellulite rise if you wear tight underwear and tight clothes around your buttocks and thighs as they constrict the blood vessels and thereby obstruct the circulation of blood.
# 6. Dry brush your skin regularly
Dry brushing is a simple but effective step for reducing cellulite. Dry brushing involves brushing your skin before taking a shower with a brush specially designed for the skin. Dry brushing helps in cellulite reduction as the process enables the break-down of the toxins and fat deposits present beneath the skin and increases blood circulation.
Can cellulite be medically treated?
There are medical treatments available to cure cellulite. However, such treatments must be carried out after consultation with a dermatologist. Some of the common treatment types include the following:
Endermologie, the first American Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A) approved non-invasive treatment is known to be the most reliable method for toning cellulite. The treatment involves intermittently rolling and un-rolling a hand-held massager on the surface of the skin; the hand-held massager is equipped with rollers that suck and knead the connective tissue.
The combination of firm massaging, rolling and sucking stimulates the circulatory activity in the skin and the subcutaneous fat cell layer and cures the dimpled cellulite. Endermologie results can last for a few months to years, depending on factors like eating habits, lifestyle, age and hormonal changes.
Velashape is a treatment similar to endermologie as both use massage and suction for curing cellulite. The major difference between the two is that the Velashape procedure uses infrared rays and radio-frequency energy to break the fat cells. This treatment has proven to cure cellulite faster than Endermologie as the combination of heat and light as well as mechanical energy allows for faster break-up of fat cells.
This procedure is conducted in three steps. The affected area is numbed; a laser tube is then inserted under the skin of the patient. The laser heats up and accelerates the meltdown of fat and cuts through the sagging band of connective tissue that pulls the skin down and causes the cottage cheese appearance. The laser then delivers heat to the right subcutaneous layers of the skin to stimulate collagen production. The production of new collagen strengthens the skin and eliminates the depressions caused by weak, sagging connective tissue.
#4. Acoustic wave therapy
This process uses a series of sound waves to vibrate the tissue beneath the skin. A handheld device is used for delivering the sound waves. The vibrations stimulate the production of collagen and other connective tissue which helps reverse cellulite formation.
Things to remember about cellulite treatment
– There is no magical treatment that will cure cellulite in a day.
– Cellulite reduction depends upon supporting factors such as eating habits, lifestyle and regularity of your treatment sessions; a holistic approach is the most effective for both removal of cellulite and maintenance of the treated skin. If you let your guard down too much, cellulite can return to treated areas of the skin.