Cellulite! The word alone puts fear in the hearts of females everywhere. It is a less common problem among men, which must be why they don’t make much fuss about it. And while we do know what cellulite looks like, many of us are not entirely sure what it is, what causes it or how to treat it, much less prevent it. Thankfully, we have the lowdown on all things cellulite, and we are more than willing to share!
Cellulite is a common problem among women, with 80% and 90% of women having cellulite, while less than 10% of men have cellulite.
Many women are familiar with the physical appearance of cellulite, but few of us understand what causes it. Let’s look at the causes, treatment, and prevention of cellulite.
What causes cellulite?
Many of us are familiar with the physical appearance of cellulite – the dimpled, lumpy flesh that typically appears on our thighs, hips, buttocks, and stomach. But what causes it? A fat build-up beneath the skin causes cellulite. The appearance of cellulite generally depends on age, genetics, and body fat percentage. Contrary to popular opinion, people of all body weights and types can get cellulite. Fat distribution in women is more visible than in men. Cellulite becomes more visible as you age because the collagen fibres underneath and in-between your muscles and skin divide the underlying fat into different pockets. As you get older, your skin loses its elasticity and becomes thinner, making the appearance of cellulite more visible.
The different causes of cellulite
- Accumulated toxins
- Poor diet
- An unhealthy lifestyle
- Weight gain
Do topical treatments work to get rid of cellulite?
Topical creams can help reduce the visibility of cellulite but must be applied daily to maintain results. Topical creams temporarily minimise cellulite’s appearance but don’t eliminate the problem entirely.
One of the most common ingredients in topical creams is caffeine. Caffeine is known to increase blood flow, changing the water content of the fat, thus reducing the appearance of cellulite. One study in 2011 suggested that topical cellulite creams yield better results when combined with a healthy diet.
Which medical procedures are used to treat cellulite?
- Cryolipolysis – This medical procedure is also known as CoolSculpting and is a non-invasive medical procedure that removes cellulite by freezing the fat cells underneath the skin, causing the cells to rupture. The body then absorbs the contents from the ruptured cells. This procedure will have to be repeated several times to dissolve an inch of fat and may take three to four months to see noticeable cellulite reduction results.
- Cellfina – This is a non-surgical medical procedure. During this medical procedure, a needle is used to break up the fat underneath the skin, located in the tough bands, to get rid of cellulite on the buttocks and thighs. This procedure’s results can be seen in as little as three days and last up to three years.
- Ultrasound – This medical procedure is non-invasive and uses sound waves to attack and eliminate fat in the thighs and abdomen. The Ultrasound procedure is recommended in conjunction with another cellulite treatment. This procedure may also be used to measure the effectiveness of other cellulite reduction treatments.
- Acoustic Wave Therapy – This procedurewas developed to treat cellulite and works by vibrating through the skin to the connective tissue in areas of the body that is prone to cellulite. Acoustic Wave Therapy also helps to stimulate collagen production, improving the skin’s texture, appearance, and elasticity. Several acoustic wave therapy treatments are needed to see visible results.
- Microdermabrasion – This treatment uses aluminium oxide or salt crystals to exfoliate the skin. The tiny particles of salt crystals gently exfoliate the ageing skin while stimulating the production of new skin cells. This treatment also requires several treatments for visible cellulite reduction results.
- Carboxytherapy – This procedure is performed by a technician inserting carbon dioxide beneath the skin, causing increased blood flow to the area and helping to reduce the appearance of cellulite. Seven to ten treatments may be needed to see visible results. This treatment may cause temporary discomfort and bruising.
- Endermologie – This is a spa treatment where your skin is lifted with a vacuum tool, and you receive a deep massage to stimulate collagen production, among other things. Several treatments are needed to see visible cellulite reduction results.
Which home remedies reduce cellulite?
There are a few home remedies that can be used to treat cellulite. Here are five of them;
- Cellulite Compression Leggings – This home treatment is known to compress the skin to tone up muscles and prevent the skin from dimpling or becoming lumpy and is best used in conjunction with a healthy diet.
- Dry Brushing – This non-invasive home remedy stimulates lymph and blood flow, removes dead skin cells, and stimulates new cell growth. It is also said to support detoxification and promote the nervous system. Use a body brush and start at the feet and slowly move your way upwards, brushing your dry skin as you go along. Brush your skin in a circular motion or with long strokes. This treatment is best before bathing or showering.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Drinking one tablespoon of diluted apple cider vinegar three times per day may help with weight loss and reduce the appearance of cellulite. The apple cider vinegar can also be made into a solution with water and rubbed onto the skin to reduce the appearance of cellulite.
- Exercise – This is a tried and trusted method of reducing body fat, making cellulite less visible. Exercise programs combine strength training and aerobics to combat the signs of cellulite by burning body fat and toning and defining your muscles. Muscular bodies tend to feel and look slimmer and firmer.
- Coffee Grounds – Using coffee grounds as an exfoliant is a popular choice as a home remedy for cellulite. Coffee grounds remove dead cells, encourage new skin growth, and tighten the skin. Coffee grounds can be used on their own or mixed with sugar, olive oil, or coconut oil. The mixture can be rubbed and left on your skin for a few minutes, or you can gently rub the mixture onto the affected areas for a few minutes and then rinse it off.
While medical treatments and home remedies can help alleviate and, over time, get rid of cellulite, it is always better to combine them with healthy lifestyle changes. Here are three lifestyle changes to help treat the appearance of cellulite.
Three healthy lifestyle changes to combat cellulite
- The foods you eat may affect cellulite appearance. Having a healthy balanced diet can help you maintain healthy body weight. Processed and high fibre foods can lead to accumulated toxins and fat in the body and increase your fibre intake. A healthy and balanced diet promotes healthy body weight and reduces cellulite appearance.
- Are you not drinking enough water? Dehydration is known to make cellulite more visible. Drinking lots of water flushes out the toxins in your body that causes cellulite.
- Stop smoking. Detoxing your body from the harmful toxins you put in it because of diet and lifestyle helps to reduce cellulite occurrence.
Changing your lifestyle to a more balanced and healthier one may not entirely rid you of cellulite but can go a long way in helping to prevent and treat it.
One of the best cellulite treatments used daily and in conjunction with other cellulite treatments is cellulite compression leggings. Cellulite compression leggings can be worn daily and is a comfortable, non-invasive treatment that complements other cellulite treatments.
Now that we’ve covered everything you need to know about cellulite, some may wonder what the difference is between cellulite and Lipoedema. While the two may present themselves as the same thing in physical appearance, they are not the same. Lipoedema is caused by something else entirely. Here is a breakdown of what Lipoedema is and what causes it.
What is the difference between cellulite and lipoedema?
Cellulite is a common and non-life-threatening cosmetic condition, while Lipoedema is a severe medical condition that requires treatment.
What is lipoedema?
Lipoedema is a medical condition that causes extra fat to gather in the lower parts of the body, such as the legs, thighs and buttocks. Lipoedema is also known to affect the upper arms. However, it does not affect the feet or hands.
What causes lipedema?
A problem with the lymphatic system causes Lipedema. The Lymphatic system is a network of vessels and glands that assist in fighting infections and draining excess fluids from tissues in the body.
What are the symptoms of lipedema?
The leading symptom of lipoedema is fat accumulation in the arms or legs. Here are four other symptoms;
- Easy bruising.
- Loose skin.
How is lipoedema diagnosed?
Lipoedema is diagnosed based on a clinical examination, the individual’s specific symptoms, and the medical history of the individual experiencing symptoms.
To rule out other conditions, a medical professional may use different imaging techniques, including ultrasounds and MRI scans.
What are the five types of lipoedema?
- Type 1 lipoedema affects the buttocks.
- Type 2 lipoedema affects the hips, thighs and buttocks.
- Type 3 lipoedema affects the calves, thighs, hips, and buttocks
- Type 4 lipoedema affects the arms.
- Type 5 lipoedema affects calves.
How Is lipoedema treated?
While there is no cure for lipoedema, it can be treated and managed. Here are some treatments.
- Compression therapy is one form of treatment for lipoedema. This treatment involves using compression stockings or leggings to increase pressure on the tissues inside the swollen limbs.
- A manual lymphatic drainage massage is a gentle massage to stimulate the movement of lymph fluid inside the body.
- Liposuction is an effective treatment for lipoedema should other treatments not produce the desired result. This treatment involves removing the lipoedema fat without effectively harming the lymphatic vessels.
Foods to eat that complement lipoedema treatment
- Lean protein.
Positive dietary changes will help alleviate lipoedema symptoms and complement other treatment forms.
Because lipoedema revolves around the lymphatic system of a woman, certain foods can aggravate symptoms. Reducing the consumption of certain foods can also help alleviate and manage symptoms. These foods are;
- Carbohydrates and sugars such as pasta, white rice, potatoes, and cereals.
- Pasteurised dairy products such as cheese, milk, and yoghurt.
- Salty or highly processed foods.
- Animal meat is high-fat, such as bacon, red meat, and sausages.
Lipoedema, unlike cellulite, is a chronic medical condition that affects females exclusively, with some rare cases in males.
This chronic medical condition is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Be sure to visit your medical practitioner should you suspect that you may be suffering from lipoedema. Seeking medical advice and treatment sooner rather than later is the first step in effectively treating a chronic condition.
Here at Solidea, South Africa, we offer a wide variety of cellulite control compression leggings to suit your body type and help treat symptoms of lipoedema. Our products provide the treatment and comfort you need to go about your daily life. Products from our Cellulite Control Line include the Silver Wave Cellulite Control panty, which is made for comfort, while the micro-messaging fabric boosts circulation.
Until next time, here’s to making healthier lifestyle choices, exercising more, and investing in some cellulite compression leggings to help us look and feel our best while combating the visible appearance of cellulite and eventually preventing it all together!