If you’ve ever spent time worrying about cellulite on your body or enviously admiring someone who doesn’t have any, you are not alone. Actually, you are in good company, because studies show that 93 percent of women have this condition.
While society in general typically associates the condition with being overweight, the reality is that size does not determine the existence of cellulite on people. Everyone, from Olympic athletes to holistic yoga instructors, can have it.
For the number of people who have cellulite, it is a condition that is surprisingly not well-understood or known. People who want to get rid of it typically visit their dermatologist or plastic surgeon, and professionals who have studied it have listed it in stages like they do with cancer.
- Stage 1 cellulite is not seen by the naked eye. Instead, it is only visible if a microscopic examination is performed.
- State 2 cellulite causes the skin of the affected areas to appear pale compared to other skin because it is being stretched thin by the fat pockets underneath the skin. The skin over cellulite can also feel warmer to the touch, have a less springy look or feel to it, and may look different compared to other areas of the body.
- State 3 cellulite is visible to the naked eye and has bumps and divots that are noticeable and can be felt.
What Is Cellulite?
Cellulite is the grouping of pockets of fat that have squeezed between septae, or tissue bands, that are located underneath your skin. While there are a few men who get the condition, it is drastically more common in women because men have stronger septae that are crisscrossed which helps hold the fat into place better. The septae in women is flimsier and runs vertically, which allows fat to push through.
Cellulite can affect women of all races, sizes, and ages. The common misconception is that heavier women are the ones who get it. It isn’t right because the condition affects women of all different sizes and lifestyles; however, women with more body fat do have a higher chance of showing more dimpling if they do have cellulite, because of having more fat on their body.
Another incorrect fact about it is that there is no diet that can save you from getting the condition or help you get rid of it. While there are a few people who see less dimpling of the skin when they lose weight, there are also women who get more cellulite when they lose weight. Sometimes losing pounds can cause saggy skin that makes the condition look even more apparent.
The most common areas where cellulite exists is on the thighs, hips, buttocks, breasts, and abdomen area. The condition is hereditary, with genes determining how your body stores fat and what risk you have for developing it in your lifetime. Hormones do affect cellulite, but medical professionals haven’t figured out exactly how hormones affect it. Doctors suspect estrogen plays a role in the development of the condition because many girls begin developing the condition during puberty.
Unfortunately, treating cellulite is can be complicated. Liposuction, which is one of the most common surgical procedures advertised as a treatment for cellulite, can make it worse by leaving your skin even more puckered than before.
However, there are some remedies that can help. Here’s a look at different topical, surgical, and lifestyle options to help you reduce, and hopefully, get rid of cellulite.
Topical Cellulite Treatments
If you are looking for the best products for cellulite, you may find topical treatments work best for you. Depending on what you want to accomplish, topical therapies are useful as temporary fixes. Creams that tighten your skin may help temporarily reduce the condition, but it is essential to understand topical treatments are not a permanent solution.
Creams with Caffeine
When your skin is tighter, it will look smoother and firmer, reducing the visibility of your cellulite. Creams typically have caffeine in them which is a diuretic and helps to increase blood flow to the area. Between the firming and reduction of water content in the fat, you can temporarily reduce the look of skin dimpling. While the treatment is temporary, many creams only need to be applied once a day.
Creams with Retinol
Cellulite creams that contain 0.3 percent retinol thicken the outer layers of your skin which helps reduce the visibility of the condition. While some people don’t want to use retinol creams because it takes at least six months or more to see results, some people have found success.
If you are using cream with retinol, it is essential to know that your skin may be sensitive to the sun and you may have skin sensitivities like redness, peeling, or dryness. When you first get started, you can do a skin test on a small patch of your skin. After smearing some on your skin, wait 24 hours to make sure you don’t have any allergic reactions. If you do have any reactions, check with your healthcare provider.
One of the best ways to remove cellulite is to combine cellulite creams with other helpful lifestyle changes. In a study from 2011, the people who used the cream and followed dietary recommendations saw significant improvements in their condition. From research similar to the 2011 survey, it appears the dietary change improves the condition, and the cream enhances those benefits.
Surgical Treatments for Cellulite
If you are trying to determine what is the best for cellulite on the legs or other parts of the body, medical procedures may be right for you. There are many different procedures, and all are performed by your dermatologist or doctor. If you are considering surgery, talking to your healthcare can help you get started. Here are four of the most common cellulite procedures.
- Cryolipolysis is noninvasive and works by freezing your fat cells which causes them to rupture their contents. The ruptured fat cells are absorbed by your body. It takes several treatments for an inch of fat to dissolve which means it will take at least 3 to 4 months to see a change in your condition.
- Ultrasounds are sometimes used to help reduce cellulite and also to measure the effectiveness of any other cellulite treatments you want to try. It is noninvasive and works by sending sound waves through the abdomen and thighs to remove fat. Ultrasounds are typically used with at least one other cellulite treatment instead of as a stand-alone procedure.
- Cellfina is nonsurgical, but it is more invasive because the procedure is done by using a needle to break up the bands that are under your skin. Cellfina is best for removing cellulite from your thighs and buttocks. Cellfina is desired by some because the results are visible quickly, and they can last for up to three years.
- Acoustic Wave Therapy was developed explicitly for reducing cellulite. Acoustic wave therapy vibrates the connective tissue in the most common areas that get the skin dimpling. The vibrations increase collagen production which helps improve the elasticity, appearance, and texture of your skin. Like many other treatments, it takes several sessions to see improvement.
If you are looking for a new cellulite treatment, talking to your healthcare provider can help you find which procedure works best for you.
There are many different things you can try for removing the condition; however, research shows that combining lifestyle changes with cellulite treatments are far more successful than just trying a cream or procedure.
Here are six different lifestyle changes you can make to help you reduce your cellulite.
- For some people, changing your diet is the best way to improve your current skin conditions and help to prevent future cellulite. Eating lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats is a good start. If you can follow an alkaline diet, you can also help reduce the condition.
- Avoiding foods like simple carbohydrates from sugar and processed foods can help reduce it. Smoking, alcohol, and caffeine create toxins in the body which can exacerbate the condition.
- In the shower, you can improve your circulation, stimulate cell renewal, and boost your metabolism by cycling through 2 to 3 minutes with warm water followed by 2 to 3 minutes of cold water.
- Dry brushing, an ancient technique, can help improve your skin quality by improving your blood circulation.
- Drink plenty of water to help your body get rid of toxins and fat.
- Cardio and weight training are essential for helping rid your body of fat.
Ultimately, the best way to remove cellulite is going to be different for each person. Some people prefer topical creams while others make lifestyle changes and then seek out the best procedure for their needs. Depending on where your cellulite is located, your overall health, and the stage of cellulite, different treatments can help to either reduce or remove the skin dimpling.
It is critical to understand your options and talk to a healthcare provider to determine which method is right for you. Cellulite doesn’t have to leave you feeling self-conscious and unable to enjoy your body. If you feel embarrassed by it, it’s time to look into ways to help you feel better about yourself.