The Cellulite Reduction Battle
Cellulite…what a jerk! It affects women everywhere, but what the Hell causes it and can it be prevented? Implement some cellulite reduction advice from our guest author to start winning the battle. Cellulite reduction coming right up!
Cellulite Reduction: The Myths
Women versus cellulite – the battle we might lose if we don’t know our allies.
So, what is the one myth we need to debunk when it comes to cellulite reduction?
Given my age (23), healthy eating habits, and more or less regular exercising, it took me by surprise, to say the least, to see cellulite appearing on my skin. The truth is that thin people deal with cellulite as well. Thus, I have made it my mission to understand how to deal with it.
And the most important thing I have realized? It is all up to the choices we make.
However, let us start from the beginning: What do we know? According to one theory (Sadick and Magro 2007), cellulite appears when small protrusions of fat cells from the first of three layers of subcutaneous (beneath the skin) fat protrude into the dermis, the second skin layer, giving the skin “bumpy” appearance.
According to another theory, when connective tissue bands in the dermis weaken, the fat protrusions occur as well, and the cellulite appears (Pierard et al. 2000).
Cellulite “attacks” healthy women, with approximately 86% of post pubertal women having one of two types of cellulite (gender-typical to all women who see mattress-like appearance when crossing the legs, and the orange peel that appears while lying or standing) (Avram 2004; Rawlings 2006).
Is it genetic?
Do all women have it?
Is it a women’s “disease“?
Yes, yes and, well…almost (though it is not a disease). Men with more female hormones are prone to develop cellulite; however, most men won’t develop it, since the structure of connective tissue differs in men and women (Avram 2004).
Hmm…no gender equality here, don’t you think?
What about treatments?
Massage has temporary results in cellulite reduction especially the amount of cellulite-affected skin. Short-term positive results are due to the removal of excess fluid (Rawlings 2009).
Thermotherapy promotes blood flow and improves circulation; but no studies confirm its effectiveness (Van Vliet et al. 2005).
Topical treatments, which are used to remove or reduce cellulite, differ in results and effectiveness. Researches show modest or no improvement in cellulite reduction (Akomeah et al. 2009).
Herbal treatments are used to improve circulation; however, science has no conclusive results about their effectiveness (Rawlings 2006).
While science will always try to find the solutions, the battle we fight here is entirely up to us, up to the choices we make.
Therefore, healthy eating and regular exercising are the choices we have to make if we wish to battle cellulite. However, why does cellulite still appear? I did some research and this is what I found out.
Smoking and alcohol greatly contribute to cellulite appearance.
Smoking causes oxidative damage on the skin, weakening the blood vessels and deteriorating connective tissues, which result in poor circulation, damaged skin’s elasticity and inflammation.
Although smoking “helps” decrease appetite and reduces the absorption of the fat, these are the results manifested after years of smoking, and we know how hard it can be to stop (Fink et al. 2006).
Alcohol is used as a fuel source, leaving fat and carbohydrates stored in fat cells, increasing appetite, reducing the energy level, and causing poor circulation. When combined with sugar and sugary foods (the main culprit that causes the body to store calories into the fat cells stimulating insulin and damaging connective tissue) the effects are magnified.
Contraceptive pills, patches, and coils contribute to cellulite by increasing the level of estrogen.
Estrogen helps in development of fat cells in the hips and thigh area increasing anti-lipolytic enzymes (enzymes that prevent the breakdown of fat). It acts as a catalyst. Hormones are one of the main reasons women are more prone to cellulite development.
What did I do?
I was a heavy smoker and binge drinker, and suffered from hormonal imbalance. After I quit, my battle with cellulite ended, and I was amazed to see how my skin improved quickly and it now looks great. As for the hormones, with proper treatment and healthy lifestyle, I managed to control it as well.
If you are a smoker and binge drinker, as I was, you should quit. But, what else can you do?
Create a calorie deficit to help reduce body fat (cutting out junk food, processed food, fast food and sugars).
[Editor’s Note: create a sustainable nutrition and exercise plan that you can adhere to and you will start to notice indefinite changes and weight loss after 4-5 weeks].
Exercise at least 3 times a week for at least 30 (strength training, aerobic dance, cycling, swimming, and jogging).
Listen to your body and make healthy choices and you can win the battle with cellulite!
Cellulite reduction – it isn’t hard to begin!
Akomeah, F.K, Martin, G.P., and Brown, M.B. (2009). Short-term iontophoretic and post-iontophoretic transport of model penetrants across excised human epidermis. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 367(1-2), 162-168.
Avram, M. (2004). Cellulite: a review of its physiology and treatment. Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy, 6, 181-185.
Fink, J.S., Mermelstein, H., Thomas, A., and Trow, R. (2006). Use of intense pulsed light and a retinyl-based cream as a potential treatment for cellulite: a pilot study. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 5, 254-262.
Pierard, G.E., Nizet, J.L., and Pierard-Franchimont, C. (2000). Cellulite: from standing fat herniation to hypodermal stretch marks. American Journal of Dermatopathology, 22(1), 34-37.
Rawlings, A. (2006). Cellulite and its treatment. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 28, 175-190.
Sadick, N., and Magro, C. (2007). A study evaluating the safety and efficacy of the Velasmooth™ system in the treatment of cellulite. Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy, 9, 15-20.
Van Vliet, M., Ortiz, A., Avram, M.M, and Yamauchi, P.S. (2005). An assessment of traditional and novel therapies for cellulite. Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy, 7, 7-10.