You hate those little dimples on your thighs and butt, which appear to give your body the texture of cottage cheese, or an orange peel, or hail damage on your car. How did you get cellulite, anyway? And how do you get rid of it?
Also called adiposis edematosa, cellulite is basically a skin condition that happens because you have areas on your body with underlying fat deposits. These entrapped fatty deposits give the skin a lumpy, dimpled appearance. If you have it, you’re not the only one – up to 90 percent of women get it at some point in their lives, and men are not immune, although it is far less common.
The thighs, knees and buttocks tend to be the most common areas that cellulite appears, but it has been known to show up on the abdomen and arms as well. Cellulite is a structural condition taking place just underneath the skin. Pockets of fat become entrapped by rigid connective tissue bands called septae. These bands pull the skin downward, stretching the skin over the fat, creating the ripples and dimples known as cellulite.
Doctors don’t yet completely understand why cellulite happens. They do know its appearance is often dictated by factors you can’t control, like hormones and genetics. Basically, some parts of the body package fat differently than others. And as women get older, their bodies make less estrogen, resulting in less efficient blood vessels and poor circulation as well as larger fat cells in those areas. Changes in diet and lifestyle can help reduce the appearance of cellulite, but it won’t eliminate it. Diets heavier in refined sugars, salt, carbs, and fat may make your cellulite more prominent.
Although people often try to treat cellulite with creams and lotions, cellulite is actually a structural issue and isn’t affected by topical creams. The skin can absorb the creams and temporarily plump, but it never actually reaches the cellulite and certainly can’t breakdown it down. Topical treatments simply won’t work. The most effective way to treat it is to go to a doctor and undergo a therapy like Cellulaze, which works underneath the skin.
Cellulaze in particular, uses a laser to enter the trapped pockets of fat and also cut the connective tissue bands to release the skin. The heat from the laser is also absorbed by the skin tissue which promotes collagen and elastin production to remodel the thinned skin. While there isn’t enough clinical data to say whether or not Cellulaze is permanent, what we do know is that the septae bands are not regenerative and the physicians that have been performing the procedure since 2012 haven’t had patient report cellulite recurrence in the area that was treated.
Cellulite is a normal body process that almost universally afflicts women, causing a dimpled appearance in the skin. There’s no real harm in cellulite, but there’s also no cure. If you’re looking for ways to reduce its appearance, consult your cosmetic practitioner to determine what may be the most effective therapy for you.