What is cellulite? How is cellulite treated?

Public Introduction

What is Cellulite?

Cellulite is a term that expresses the formation of bumps and pits on the skin caused by the protrusion of fat cells between the layers of the skin. Cellulite, which generally has an orange peel-like appearance, affects 80 to 90 percent of women. Even though cellulite is a condition that can affect both men and women, it can be more common and easily observed in women due to the anatomically different distributions of fat, muscle and connective tissue. 


What Causes Cellulite?

The exact cause of the occurrence of cellulite has not yet been determined by physicians. It is thought to be caused by the interaction between the connective tissue in the dermatological layer under the skin surface and the fat layer just below it. 

In cellulite, more than normal fat cells begin to accumulate under the upper layers of the skin, called the dermis and epidermis. Small bands of connective tissue that run diagonally in men run widely vertically between these fat cells in women and directly connect the upper layers of the skin to the deeper tissues of the body.

These bands normally form small, grid-like chambers and pockets under the skin. However, when abnormal growth is seen in fat cells, the bands can compress them, resulting in the appearance of lumpy and dimpled cellulite tissue   The fact that these vertical bands in women are crossed in men are among the reasons why cellulite is more common in women.

Various factors can increase the likelihood of cellulite. Estrogen, insulin, noradrenaline, thyroid hormones and prolactin are thought to be part of the cellulite production process. A common view among medical professionals is that as estrogen declines in women approaching menopause, blood flow to the subcutaneous connective tissue also decreases. Decreased circulation in this area means that the area can receive less oxygen and be fed less. This results in lower collagen production.

As estrogen levels drop, fat cells grow. The combination of all these factors can make fat deposits more visible. As the subcutaneous fat reaches the upper layers through the weakened connective tissue, the appearance of cellulite becomes more pronounced. Loss of elasticity, thinning and more sagging of the skin due to advancing age may also cause the release of fat layers and the development of cellulite to become more prominent.

It has been determined that certain genes are necessary for the development of cellulite. Genetic factors can affect a person’s metabolic rate, distribution of fat under the skin, and circulatory levels, which can directly increase the likelihood of developing cellulite.

Although cellulite is more common in individuals with excess fat, cellulite can also be observed in thin and physically fit individuals. Cellulite is more likely to develop from the age of 25, but there have been cases where it also occurs in younger individuals. 

How to Prevent Cellulite

Contrary to popular belief, cellulite is not caused by some fictitious toxins. At the same time, it is not yet possible to completely prevent the formation of cellulite. However, a healthy lifestyle can slow the development of cellulite or help reduce its chances.

Especially, regular exercise and following a healthy diet can help reduce the appearance of cellulite. It has been observed that individuals who consume a lot of fat, carbohydrates and salt but consume very little fiber are more likely to develop cellulite. It has been observed that smoking and sitting in one position for a long time also help the formation of cellulite. 

Wearing tight clothing in areas where cellulite is common can limit blood flow and contribute to cellulite formation. 


What are the Symptoms of Cellulite?

The symptoms of cellulite can be seen in different ways depending on the severity of the cellulite. Depending on the degree of cellulite, it manifests itself with an orange peel-like rough texture in certain parts of the body. In some stages, this tissue can only be seen when squeezed by hand, while in advanced cellulite, the tissue is visible.

Cellulite Grades

Cellulite mostly affects the hips, abdomen and thighs and is a localized skin problem. The most important symptom of cellulite is the bumps and pits observed on the skin. Cellulite can be classified in three different degrees according to its severity. Cellulite is hardly noticeable when lying down or standing. In the case of Grade 2 or moderate cellulite, moderate depressions are seen and the appearance of the skin resembles cottage cheese bubbles. More sagging can be observed in the skin itself. While cellulite becomes evident while standing, they are not noticed in the lying position. In the case of Grade 3 or severe cellulite, there is a fuzzy appearance and the skin may droop severely. At this degree, the appearance of cellulite is evident both while lying down and standing.

Treatment Methods

How to Treat Cellulite?

Medical professionals are researching different treatment methods to remove cellulite, but their effectiveness has not yet been fully confirmed by scientific research. One of these treatment methods examines the way to reduce the appearance of cellulite by separating the connective tissue bands under the skin surface. Small amounts of fat are removed from the /strong> area, but it has been observed that this method can worsen pitting in some cases. Scientific studies have not yet concluded that this method can reduce cellulite in the long term. However, sufficient scientific research on the effectiveness of this method has not been completed. Acoustic wave therapy  benefits from the transmission of sound waves to the tissues with the help of a device. This treatment method can be repeated several sessions. 

Laser treatment, in which a very small laser probe is placed under the skin, can improve the appearance of cellulite for a period of one year. With the firing of the laser probe, the tissue is fragmented. This method can also thicken the skin by increasing collagen production and reduce the appearance of thickened skin and underlying cellulite. In the subcision method, a needle is placed under the skin to break the connective tissue bands. It is stated that the results of this intervention can take effect for two years.

In vacuum assisted sensitive tissue release treatment dermatologist the doctor cuts the bands using a device containing small blades. As a result of cutting the connective bands, the underlying tissue moves up, filling the space under the skin and can eliminate the appearance of cellulite. Even if the results of this method are claimed to last for three years, the data on the success of the method are limited. In the Carboxytherapy  method, carbon dioxide gas is placed under the skin. Although the side effects of this method include bruising and discomfort in the area after the procedure, it is claimed that some cellulite regresses and disappears. Ionithermie cellulite reduction treatment covers the affected area with a special mud or clay and then involves applying an electric current by wrapping it with plastic. This method has not been proven to be effective. In the Radiotherapy  method, cellulite is reduced by regional warming. However, it has been observed that any result obtained is short-term. In the process of cellulite treatment , some drugs and creams can be recommended by the doctor as they are effective on fatty tissues.

Accordingly, caffeine creams can dry out the cells, making them less visible. Such creams should be applied daily.

Again, some drugs that can only be used on the advice of a doctor can reduce the appearance of cellulite by thickening the skin. At least 6 months of use is required to see the results this substance provides, but it should be used with caution as it can cause heart palpitations in some cases. 

Some individuals use compression garments to reduce the appearance of cellulite. These garments work to compress arteries and increase blood and lymph flow to reduce visible cellulite. However, using such clothes without a doctor’s advice may cause unwanted side effects in the body and blood circulation. 

Recent reviews of several studies on the effectiveness of different techniques have shown that these procedures generally do not work in every case or that the research methodology is flawed. Therefore, promises of getting rid of cellulite should be approached carefully.

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