The internet is riddled with queries on how to get rid of cellulite overnight. Similar questions are how long does it take to get rid of cellulite? We all prefer a smooth, spotless and firm looking skin, and when cellulite appears, it can be a bit of a bother and perhaps a cosmetic concern. This is because a puckered and dimpled looking skin creates the impression of aging skin.
This skin problem is without a doubt aesthetically displeasing and most people would jump at the slightest opportunity to get rid of it with methods such as diet to get rid of cellulite, or even exercises to get rid of cellulite. A wide variety of available products and procedures often promise to eliminate this perceived skin scourge, but can cellulite be completely removed for good? And what does it even mean to have cellulite? Read on to find the answers.
WHAT IS CELLULITE?
The dimpled looking skin that has a rough wrinkly surface and appears on certain parts of the body like the thighs and buttocks is referred to as cellulite. It occurs when the fat beneath the skin (subcutaneous fat) presses against the dermis (inner layer of the skin). This causes the connective tissues within the dermis to weaken and give way for the fat to protrude through the outer layer of the skin, thereby making the skin look rumpled with tiny depressions in appearance.
Cellulite mostly occurs around regions of the thighs and buttocks. This is because those parts of the body contain a large amount of subcutaneous fat and less circulatory activity (blood flow). Although it can affect both men and women, it is most common in women because of certain factors.
In fact, experts are of the opinion that about 80 to 90 percent of women will develop cellulite at some point in their lives. Women tend to develop cellulite as they age because of decreasing estrogen levels. Cellulite typically begins to appear in women from ages 25 to 35. And because women have three layers of fat in their knees, thighs, and buttocks, they usually have cellulite in these parts of the body.
Can you get rid of cellulite once you have it, and is it harmful? The answer is NO. Cellulite does not cause any harm to the body, they only distort the natural appearance of the skin. And yes there are numerous techniques on how to beat cellulite. Cellulite is of three types:
Soft Cellulite: It is localized in parts of the skin where there is an accumulated amount of fat such as the upper arms, thighs, abdomen, and buttocks. It usually appears along with varicose veins. It gives the skin a gelatinous appearance and it is soft to the touch. Soft Cellulite is loosely attached and it shifts it’s position when there is movement. Lack of muscle tone and weight gain are factors that contribute to its development on the skin.
Hard /compact cellulite: This is also referred to as solid cellulite. It gives the skin a dimpled or “orange peel ” appearance. It is mostly present in the hips, upper thighs and in areas of the knees. If not treated early, it can be hard to eliminate. It attaches to the muscles and does not move. It is hard and painful when touched.
Edematous cellulite: It is a rare type of Cellulite that mostly affects the lower legs, although it can also occur on the thighs and knees. It may be accompanied by pain when touched. It is usually caused by poor blood flow. Fluid retention can also worsen it. It is quite difficult to treat and manage.
WHY IS CELLULITE MORE COMMON IN WOMEN THAN MEN
Women are more prone to developing cellulite than men because of hormone and skin structure differences. The protein of the dermal connective tissues (collagen) in men varies structurally from those in women. The fat cells and connective tissues of the dermal layer are arranged vertically in women(like a picket fence). This makes the skin take on a lumpy and dimpled appearance when the subcutaneous fat bulges through the dermis. In men, the fibrous tissue is much stronger and it is arranged in a criss-cross format, this arrangement in men is much stronger and helps to contain fat cells within the skin which stops them from protruding.
Hormones also contribute to the development of cellulite. Hormones like insulin, noradrenaline, prolactin and thyroid hormones all play a role in the synthesis of cellulite. A drastic decrease in estrogen levels which is often associated with menopause in women causes decreased blood flow to the connective tissues of the dermis.
It also affects collagen production which makes the skin even more prone to the protrusion of subcutaneous fat. Estrogen when insufficient amounts can also contribute to the development of cellulite by producing more fat naturally and making already existing fat cells increase in size, thereby giving more room for Cellulite to push through the layers of the skin. Testosterone, on the other hand, disintegrates fat cells
The ratio of alpha and beta-adrenergic receptors in women is another possible reason why they are more prone to developing cellulite. The alpha receptors are involved in the production of fat. They also cause the constriction of blood vessels and the release of sugar into the bloodstream, whereas beta receptors break down fat, increases heart rate and cause the blood vessels to relax. In women, there are more alpha receptors than Beta receptors in some parts of their body like the thighs. Men, on the contrary, have one-to-one alpha and beta-receptor ratio, and unlike women, they have just one single layer of fat throughout their bodies.
WHAT CAUSES CELLULITE?
Science is yet to come up with an elaborate reason for the occurrence of cellulite. The nature and arrangement of connective tissues and their interaction with the fat cells are presumed to be the cause. For instance, the vertical arrangement of the connective tissues in women makes them more susceptible to the appearance of cellulite, while the criss-cross arrangement in men protects their skin from the appearance of cellulite. Other factors that may contribute to the development of cellulite include :
- Age: Skin elasticity and thickness naturally reduces with age. When the skin loses a greater part of its elasticity, it will start to thin and sag and would not be able to prevent cellulite from making an appearance. Women are known to develop cellulite as they age.
- Genetics: Cellulite development usually involves certain genes. These genes are involved in the distribution of fat under the skin, rate of metabolism, and affect levels of circulation. All of these can contribute to the build-up of subcutaneous fat and how it pushes through the dermatological layer.
- Diet and lifestyle: What you consume into your body can go a long way in determining whether cellulite will form on your skin or not. A diet rich in fat, carbs, and salt with very little amounts of fiber will likely encourage the formation of cellulite. Smokers, sedentary workers or people who remain in the same sitting or standing position for long hours are liable to develop cellulite. This is major because smoking and restricted motor activities can affect blood circulation. Obese and overweight people are also more prone to developing cellulite than slim individuals.
THE GRADES OF CELLULITE
The classification or ranking of cellulite according to its level of severity is referred to as “Grades of Cellulite”. The grading is as follows:
Grade 0: This means there is no visible appearance of cellulite.
Grade 1: This is the first outward appearance of cellulite and it is also the milder form. When the skin is pinched, it takes on an orange-peel appearance. There is also the presence of 1 to 4 depressions(sunken or hollow lines).
Grade 2: This is the moderate form of Cellulite. There is the presence of nine to five sunken ridges on the skin, and it has the look of cottage cheese. It is quite visible when a person stands.
Grade 3: This is the most severe form of cellulite with about 10 or more deep sunken lines or ridges. The affected skin resembles a “mattress” and it sags.
GETTING RID OF CELLULITE
Are there proven ways to get rid of cellulite? There have been claims of cellulite getting worse with exercise, and severe cellulite after changing diet. However, the appearance of cellulite can be minimized or improved with the right cellulite tools. Usually, the main focus is on how to get rid of cellulite on thighs and bum. Some methods usually adopted in the minimization of cellulite include dietary changes, medical procedures for cellulite treatment at home. Here are some treatment options you can adopt to reduce the appearance of cellulite :
CREAMS: Not all creams can quickly get rid of cellulite, most creams only deal with the subcutaneous fat. A number of creams such as caffeine cream and retinol are marketed as cellulite removers, but do these creams actually work?
Most of these cellulite removal creams act by transporting fat to the cells to be used as energy. Caffeine creams help by stopping the production of fat by the alpha receptors. Some creams contain a compound called aminophylline which also works to prevent the synthesis of fat by blocking alpha receptors. Most creams focus on the fat cells and do not address the connective tissues or blood flow as related to cellulite formation. Retinol acts by strengthening the skin and making it thicker.
The use of retinol may be accompanied by adverse side effects, and should not be used until a patch test is done (To carry out a patch test, your doctor will apply a certain amount of the cream on a patch and then place it on your back or arm. It is removed after 48 hours to check for an allergic reaction to the cream).
DIET: The wrong diet can contribute to cellulite formation. A diet rich in fat, sugar, and sodium (salt) can increase fat production in the body which means more subcutaneous fat can form and breakthrough dermatological barriers. If sugar is not broken down completely through physical activity, it will transform into fat and add to already existing fat cells, this increases the risk of developing cellulite. A diet high in fat can aid water or fluid retention which can make the appearance of cellulite more visible.
To prevent or reduce cellulite formation, it always pays to minimize salt, sugar and fat intake while loading up on foods rich in fiber, fruits, and vegetables. Drinking plenty of water can also help to minimize the appearance of cellulite because cellulite tends to thrive more in a dehydrated environment. Dehydration also affects the skin by making it thinner, which makes the appearance of cellulite more pronounced. Keeping your body hydrated is important to reduce the visibility of cellulite.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES: One of the key reasons why cellulite forms, is due to poor blood circulation in the affected areas. Carrying out physical activities can help improve blood circulation in the body. Certain exercises can also reduce the appearance of cellulite by tightening the skin and increasing muscle strength. You can hit the gym, do simple exercises such as jogging or taking a brisk walk or carry out yoga exercises regularly to help improve blood flow and firm up your skin.
MASSAGE: Aside from its pleasing effects, cellulite massage before and after bed can also go a long way in reducing cellulite formation. Getting a daily massage can help build up the lymphatic drainage which in turn prevents inflammation by expelling toxins that may be present in the fat cells. Inflammation can worsen the appearance of cellulite. You can do a massage at home or enlist the services of a massage therapist.
SELF- TAN: Getting a tan can improve the appearance of cellulite because they are less pronounced on darker skin. It is important to use the right self-tanning products to avoid damages to the skin. For better results, it is always good to exfoliate before self-tanning. Also steer clear of tanning beauty outlets or tanning in the sun, to avoid the risk of long term skin damages or the chances of developing skin cancer.
MEDICAL PROCEDURES: A number of dermatological techniques have been shown to minimize the appearance of cellulite. These techniques act by disintegrating the bands of fibrous tissues within the dermal layer. They may also be useful in breaking up the subcutaneous fats. They include :
Endermologie: This method of treating cellulite is FDA-approved with respect to safety, but there is barely any scientific evidence to suggest that it is effective. Endermologie involves vacuuming and rolling the skin with the use of radio waves to break up fats and smoothen the skin. The skin is subjected to heat which increases blood flow to the affected areas. Endermologie has to be done frequently for any noticeable effects to occur.
Laser treatment: This may minimize the appearance of cellulite for a certain period of time. An example of laser treatment for cellulite reduction is cellulaze. During cellulaze, a small laser fiber is inserted under the skin. The laser is then fired which breaks up the tough bands of the fibrous tissues that aid the appearance of cellulite. This treatment also helps in thickening the skin.
Subcision: It is also known as “Cellfina”, this procedure involves the insertion of a needle beneath the skin to break up the bands of the connective tissues within the dermal layers of the skin. It may help to reduce the dimpled or orange-peel appearance of cellulite.
Carboxytherapy: This involves inserting carbon dioxide gas (CO2) beneath the skin. This can help reduce the formation of cellulite. The downside to this method of treatment is that discomfort and bruising may occur during the procedure.
Vacuum-assisted precise tissue release: In this procedure, the dermatologist uses a device that has blades to cut up the bands. Once the bands have been cut, the fibrous tissues fill up the space left by the bands and eradicate the appearance of cellulite. There is limited data to show that this technique is effective.
Laser-assisted-liposuction: Liposuction is a medical procedure that involves removing small amounts of fat from the skin. However, this technique is not recommended for treating cellulite as it can even make their appearance more pronounced. When combined with laser therapy, it may work to remove cellulite. However, there is limited research to show that laser treatment combined with liposuction can get rid of cellulite.
How Can I Get Rid Of Cellulite?
While figuring out what to put on cellulite, keep in mind that some cellulite causes may not be completely eradicated, depending on skin type. You can diminish its appearance, but that is as far as it goes. The weight does not totally affect your chances of developing cellulite, because Cellulite formation involves the structure of connective tissues in your body, distribution of fat, and genetics.
This means that you do not have total control over the formation of cellulite in your body, but nevertheless, maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating a good diet and getting lots of physical activity can reduce your chances of developing cellulite or minimizing its appearance. Here are a few tips to help you manage or prevent cellulite development :
- Eat a diet packed full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fiber
- Cut down on carbs, junk food, and salt.
- Hit the gym or work out as often as possible
- Wear loose-fitting underwear. Tight underwear can limit blood flow to your body and cause cellulite formation.
- If your job requires you sitting for hours, make sure to take breaks in between work by taking short walks, this will help improve blood circulation in your body.
- Simple home remedies like daily massage, body brushing and the use of coffee scrubs can help encourage blood circulation and the breakdown of excess fats that might be a precursor for cellulite formation.
- Remember that having Cellulite does not mean you are not paying enough attention to your body, sometimes genetics play a major role.
- Try to avoid treatment procedures that involve injections or liposuction. They may be more harmful