Cellulite is a condition that affects both genders but most commonly shows up on women. Cellulite occurs when the septae, or network of connective tissues that hold body fat in place under the skin, begin to herniate. In this scenario, fat deposits begin to seep out between the edges of connective tissues. This herniation causes a rippling or dimpled effect on the surface of the skin often referred to as cellulite.
While weight gain is often pointed to as the primary cause of cellulite, more often than not the cause is linked to genetics or the natural aging process. Women more commonly see the effects of cellulite as a result of genetic code that allows for a less tightly arranged network of connective tissues. Similarly, female hormones can have a direct effect on the strength of the connective tissue network as well as a role in determining the average size of fat cells. It should be noted that the dimpling associated with cellulite tends to be more noticeable on both fair and thin skin.
Age is another major factor in the development of cellulite. Over time, skin naturally loses its elasticity begins to thin. As this process occurs, physical inconsistencies associated with herniated connective tissues become much more pronounced and visible.
Individuals of all body types and body mass index are susceptible to cellulite, particularly those with genetics that lean towards weaker connective tissues. For many people, an inactive lifestyle leading to significant weight gain increases the risk of cellulite development but is not necessarily the exclusive cause. Many women develop cellulite during pregnancy as a result of weight fluctuations in combination with hormonal changes.
While home remedies rarely remove the evidence of cellulite, there are many small steps that can both prevent new herniations or slow the progress of cellulite that has already developed. Eating a proper and nutritious diet is an important step towards keeping cellulite at bay. When practiced in combination with regular exercise, the effects are even more successful. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle leads to improved metabolism which generally slows fat development. Staying hydrated by consuming water regularly helps to keep skin healthy and promotes an improved metabolism as well.
There are a number of topical treatment options including anti-cellulite lotions and creams that offer modest short-term improvements. While successful results are not guaranteed, a combination of ingredients in many of these products that include caffeine, Vitamin A, retinol and herbs works to tighten and smooth the overall appearance of skin at the surface level. It’s important to review these ingredients carefully before applying as some contain Aminophylline, which can cause an adverse allergic reaction in some individuals.
Those who are not adversely affected by Aminophylline may find it successfully reduces the appearance of cellulite by causing surface level blood vessels to narrow. This process results in water being forced from the skin’s surface, ultimately tightening the appearance of skin. While this method is not recommended for those with underlying circulatory issues, it may prove efficient for patients in good health. Additional topical treatments for cellulite include massage and suction treatments. While results vary, they are commonly turned to for short-term solutions.
There is no 100% totally effective treatment for cellulite. Doctors or other medical practitioners who promise to completely rid people of cellulite should be looked at with some suspicion. Liposuction is one the best treatment options, yet it is not completely effective. While liposuction successfully removes fat deposits from the subcutaneous layer of skin, the area where cellulite develops lies directly above this layer. Unfortunately, while some patients report permeant improvement in appearance, some patients report a worsening in the appearance of cellulite with liposuction treatments after electing for the procedure.
Another method of treating cellulite is through cellulite laser treatment commonly referred to as Cellulaze. Safe and modestly effective, this procedure requires a surgeon to insert a small laser under the surface of the patient’s skin and direct beams towards problematic areas to effectively melt the fat deposit away. While results are often successful and painless, patients often follow a treatment plan that involves several procedures to reduce the overall appearance of cellulite.
The treatment of cellulite requires a thorough understanding of a patient’s medical history and unique skin palette. Similarly, it’s of the upmost importance that prospective patients understand treatment options and have a chance to ask questions and have any concerns or preferences addressed. The team at the St. Louis Laser Lipo and Vein Center values a comprehensive approach to patient care and believes in honoring the concept of individualized services. For this reason, it’s imperative that patients call to schedule an initial consultation before deciding on any treatments. This opportunity to speak with Dr. Wright in a one-on-one setting builds the trusting foundation that makes for a successful treatment plan. Contact us today to set up your consultation or speak more in depth about the variety of services we provide.