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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The C-Word: Cellulite

Cellulite might as well be a foul word, because nobody wants anything to do with it. There are numerous myths, procedures and plans for how to get rid of it. Before you get too worked up and take drastic measures, read below to find out what cellulite really is and what safe choices there are to aid in its disappearance.

What is cellulite?
Cellulite is the trapping of swollen fat cells between fibrous bands of tissue. As these pockets become denser, sometimes lumps or dimples can be seen on the surface of the skin. Cellulite is not a disease, illness or condition. It is simply the way your body’s fat cells have deposited between connective tissue. People of all shapes and sizes can have cellulite.

What causes cellulite?
Some situations that may cause cellulite include poor diet, fad dieting, slow metabolism, lack of physical activity, hormone changes, dehydration, total body fat and thickness or color of the skin.  Keep in mind that most of these also lead to basic weight gain. Thickness and color of skin do not factor in to weight gain, but they do influence the appearance of cellulite. The lighter and thinner your skin is, the more likely you are to see cellulite on the surface of your skin.

Can cellulite be prevented or treated?
While cellulite can be treated, there is no quick fix or guaranteed method for getting rid of it. Although it is not harmful, cellulite isn’t exactly pleasing to the eye. Many people want to get rid of it once it shows up. People have used a variety of methods to reduce the existence and appearance of cellulite. The below methods vary in effectiveness, but all generally have some impact on cellulite.
  1. Liposuction – Probably the most well-known “quick fix” for cellulite, this procedure has been quoted in songs and popular culture for the past decade. A surgery that removes fat cells from the body by essentially vacuuming them out, liposuction is not a guaranteed solution for cellulite. In fact, the erratic vacuuming of the fat cells may actually cause more defined dimples afterward. This is because liposuction may not remove all fat cells.
  2. Mesotherapy – Not as well-known as liposuction, mesotherapy is the regimented injection of substances such as vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids into the tissue just beneath the skin. It can result in a slight improvement to the appearance of cellulite, but it has potential risks that include swelling, infection and irregular contours.
  3. Massage and spa treatments – Endermologie is a treatment that involves kneading the skin with a suction device to stimulate collagen production by increasing circulation to the treated area. Laser treatments are becoming more frequent in spas as well. FDA-approved laser treatments claim to sever the connective tissues that press the fat cells together, creating the bulging. They also claim to melt the fat, creating a smoother appearance. These are relatively new procedures, so there aren’t many stories, positive or negative, to support their validity. These treatments do not remove the fat cells that cause cellulite, so any associated benefits are only temporary.
  4. Cellulite Creams – These creams claim to dissolve fat and smooth the skin, but there is no scientific evidence to support these claims. Many of the creams contain aminophylline, which is an agent to that can cause the blood vessels to narrow and help flush water from the skin. This effect can be dangerous to people with existing circulatory problems and may cause allergic reactions in others.

Don’t forget about your diet!
Because cellulite is the accumulation of fat cells, your best chance of changing its appearance lies in shrinking those fat cells. This can be done through a lifestyle change focused on healthier eating and increased physical exercise. Remember that poor diet, fad dieting and lack of physical activity can all cause cellulite.

Keep in mind:
  • Diets low in sugar and salt help prevent water retention and the plumping of the fat cells within the fibrous bands that create the cellulite dimples. Take note of the sodium and sugar content in the foods you eat. Try to stay below 6 teaspoons of sugar and 2000 mg of sodium each day.
  • Diets high in protein promote lean muscle mass. Protein rich foods include meat, beans, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds.
  • Exercise helps to use utilize fat stores to burn energy and build muscle mass. Focus on strength exercises that tone the areas where cellulite appears. Also, cardio workouts help to utilize those fat stores and keep your metabolism elevated even after you are finished working out. 

As the fat cells shrink in size and increased muscle mass replaces body fat, you should experience a reduction in the appearance of cellulite.

Although cellulite is not pleasant to the eye, you should know that it is not something to rush to your doctor about. Before you resort to extreme solutions, try altering your daily diet and exercise programs for a healthy low-risk fix. And if you do decide to consult a dermatologist or aesthetician, make sure to check their credentials! If you’d like to make an appointment with ADSCA’s new medi spa, click here.


  1. The below methods vary in effectiveness, but all generally have some impact on cellulite.what causes cellulite

  2. Great Blog.
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  3. Nice blog.
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