Cellulite is the non-medical condition in which the skin appears dimpled, bumpy and cotton cheese like due to the deposition of fat under the skin, especially on the thighs and buttocks. Cellulite mostly occurs after puberty and it is 90% more prevalent in women as compared to men due to several reasons like thin skin, loose arrangement of the fat and use of tight underwear.
Classification of Cellulite
Cellulite is classified into three grades depending upon its appearance:
- Grade 1 cellulite
In grade 1 cellulite no signs of cellulite appear, but a microscopic inspection reveals the signs of underline changes or cellulite. It is the beginning stage of cellulite and usually appear in young age, which may or may not convert into visible cellulite.
- Grade 2 cellulite
In grade 2 cellulite, clear signs of cellulite still not present, but skin becomes soft, pallor, and has decreased elasticity, in addition to microscopic changes.
- Grade 3 cellulite
In grade 3 cellulite the skin becomes soft, rough and dimpled along with all the signs of grade 2 cellulite.
What causes cellulite?
There are several known causes of cellulite and some of them are described below:
- Thickness of epidermis
One of the main causes of the cellulite is the thickness of the epidermis. Thicker skin, prevents the structural changes as compared to thin skin. Thin skin is soft and elastic, therefore more prevalent of skin changes, dimpling and bulging of fat.
- Hormonal factors
Several hormones play a vital role in the development of cellulite. Hormones increase the chances of cellulite due to fat deposition. Hormones like estrogen, nor adrenaline, thyroid, insulin and prolactin play a vital role in the development of cellulite. These hormones trigger the fat production that is the main cause of cellulite. Estrogen, which is a female hormone also triggers the fat production as compared to the male hormone testosterone which decrease the fat production. Therefore, cellulite is more prevalent in female as compared to male.
Research confirmed that cellulite is genetic and certain genes are responsible for cellulite growth. Certain genes may influence an individual to particular characteristics associated with cellulite, like race, gender, fat distribution, circulation of blood and lymph under the skin and decrease metabolism.
- Skin structure
Arrangement of fat cells and connective tissues affect the development of cellulite. In the male the skin follows a crisscross arrangement as compared to female. Crisscross arrangement is much stronger and holds the fat in its position and avoid loose and bumpy appearance.
Diet also plays a crucial role in the development of cellulite. High caloric and less fibrous diet increase the chances of fat deposition and ultimate cellulite development.
Tight clothing like tight elastic underwear increase the chances of cellulite development.
- Lifestyle factors
Several lifestyle factors also contribute to cellulite like smoking, alcohol consumption, junk food, siting in one position for a longer period of time and no exercise.
15 tips on how to get rid of cellulite
- Cellulite cream
Several cellulite creams are present in the market that dissolve the fat to decrease the signs of cellulite. But not all the creams are equally effective. Some creams contain aminophylline that is harmful and cause circulatory problems or allergic reactions. Creams containing the non-therapeutic ingredients are beneficial in cellulite because of less number of possible side effects.
Collagen helps to get rid of cellulite because it maintains the elasticity, firmness and smoothness of the skin. Collagen is the most important protein in our body. Collagen, along with elastin maintain the elasticity and firmness of the epidermis. Collagen and elastin form the mesh network under the skin and hold the fat in its position and decrease the signs of cellulite. The decrease production of collagen in old age is the main cause of cellulite. Use of collagen supplement naturally replace the deficiency of body collagen. Collagen also maintains the texture of the skin surface due to its revitalization processes. Water binding capacity of the collagen also decreases the signs of cellulite.
Want to know more about what is collagen?
- Gotu kola or Centella Asiatica Extract
Centella Asiatica Extract contains triterpenoid saponins that stimulate the production of fibroblasts, cell layer fibronectin, collagen and elastin. Centella Asiatica increase the proline and lysine metabolism that are the building blocks of amino acids. It also stimulates the production of other essential proteins that increase the firmness of skin and maintain the texture. Centella Asiatica Extract increases the production of hyaluronic acid that maintain the firmness and moisture level of the skin. It also increases the blood circulation that increases the fat metabolism.
L-carnitine used in cellulite because thermogenesis that increase the burning of fats. It also possesses anti-oxidant effects that also contribute to lipolysis and maintain the texture by reduction of free radical production. It also maintains the circulation and remove the toxins from the body.
Caffeine is useful in cellulite because of its lipolytic effect. It decreases the production of fat by blocking the alpha receptors. It also increases the blood circulation that facilitate the removal of toxins. It also maintains the firmness of the skin by flushing out the excessive moisture.
- Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo biloba is the most commonly used anti-cellulite ingredient. It increases the fat metabolism by increasing the blood circulation. It also enhances the removal of toxins from the body. The antioxidant properties of Ginkgo biloba increase the rate of burning of calories and decrease the fat deposition in the case of cellulite.
- Bladderwrack extract
Bladderwrack helps to get rid of cellulite because of polysaccharides and polyphenols which enhance the metabolism of fat. It also decreases the deposits of fluids beneath the skin and maintain the firmness and elasticity of the skin.
Dandelion helps to get rid of the cellulite by its strong diuretic effect that decreases the fluid deposited beneath the skin. Commonly used diuretics decrease the potassium level in the body that cause several side effects, but Dandelion contains high amount of potassium and therefore causing less side effects. It also possesses the antioxidant properties that increase the rate of burning of calories and decrease the fat deposition in the case of cellulite.
- Ivy Extract
Ivy extract conatins triterpenoid saponins, like the oleanolic acid glycosides, hederacoside, hederacoside C, hederagenin glycosides and ß-hederin that are beneficial in getting rid of cellulite. The ingredients present in Ivy reabsorb the fluids present beneath the skin. Ivy extract also increases the blood circulation and decreases the permeability of blood vessels. It also decreases the fat production and remove the waste products from the body.
- Conjugated linoleic acid
Use of conjugated linoleic acid helps to get rid of cellulite by increasing the fat metabolism and lean muscle mass. The University of Uppsala researchers recommends the use of conjugated linoleic acid for 14 weeks which decreases the signs of cellulite by decreasing body fat.
Mesotherapy is new approach developed in Europe to get rid of cellulite. In this therapy minerals, enzymes, amino acids and vitamins are injected into the skin tissues to facilitate the breakdown of the adipose tissues and to maintain the texture of skin surface. It also increases the blood circulation that increases the fat metabolism.
- Massage therapy
Massage helps to get rid of cellulite by increases the blood circulation that facilitates the metabolism of fat and decrease the lumpy appearance of skin.
- Laser treatment
The FDA approved the use of Laser in in the treatment of cellulite. Laser treatment burns the deposits of fats and break the fibrous bands under the skin. The reduction in fat deposits increases the blood circulation and enhance the production of collagen.
- Therapeutic methods
Therapeutic methods help to get rid of cellulite are as follows:
- Heat therapy
- Electrical stimulation
- Magnetic therapy
- Radio frequency therapy
- Therapeutic agents
Several therapeutic agents are used in cellulite like:
- Amino acids
- Beta-agonists and adrenaline