In this condition called cellulite, skin appears to contain underneath areas with fat deposits which give skin a dimpled, lumpy look. Cellulite is most noticeable on buttocks & thighs which usually surface after puberty. This condition is also known as adiposis edematosa, & gynoid lipodystrophy in medical terms. In common terms it is known by different names as cottage cheese skin, orange peel syndrome, mattress phenomenon, & hail damage. According to most dermatologists up to 90% women may be affected by cellulite at some point in their lives. There is no serious medical consequence of cellulite but it is very ungainly & can mar appearance of a person. Even men can get cellulite but it is mostly women who are affected by it mainly because of particular -types of fat & connective tissue.
Cellulite Causes and Risk Factors
It is true that not all people develop cellulite & actual cause of this condition is not known. There are however, some factors which are common among women who do develop this condition. Let us look at these –
- Genetics is thought to play an important role. Poor circulation, sensitivity to hormone fluctuations & weak body tissues are often hereditary & associated with appearance of cellulite
- Aging is another factor because with age skin loses its elasticity which can enhance appearance of cellulite
- Estrogen levels also may play a role in causing this condition. Many women are known to develop this condition during periods of hormonal fluctuations i.e. puberty, pregnancy & menopause. Women using oral contraceptives may also be at risk.
- Weight gain may worsen cellulite & make this condition more noticeable. At the same time a sedentary lifestyle can also cause this condition.
- People who eat too much fat, carbohydrates & salt & too little fiber are also at risk
- Wearing underwear which has tight elastic over the buttocks which restricts circulation of blood also contributes to formation of cellulite
Cellulite Signs and Symptoms
It is very easy to recognize signs & symptoms of cellulite as this condition causes skin to appear lumpy, uneven & dimpled. Cellulite usually occurs in areas of body like thighs, stomach, hips & buttocks. It can also occur in other areas like breasts, upper arms, back & neck. In severe cases skin in the affected area becomes more sensitive & bruises more easily than normal. There may also be other symptoms like itching, redness, swelling which indicate a more serious condition & should immediately be brought to notice of a doctor.
Diagnosis of Cellulite
There are diagnostic tests available which include ultrasound that can detect presence of cellulite, but these tests are normally not needed. Cellulite can also be diagnosed by rolling or pinching skin in the area, but it is easier to diagnose cellulite simply by looking at its signs & symptoms.
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Treatment for Cellulite in India
There are many over the counter & specialist treatments that promise to get rid of cellulite on thighs & buttocks in India. However all treatments may not be effective for every individual & you may have to find what is best suited for your condition.
- Non Surgical Liposuction – In this procedure fat deposits are removed from the body. However, liposuction is better suited for removing deep fat instead of cellulite which is just beneath the skin.
- Mesotherapy – This therapy was originally developed in Europe so as to relieve pain of inflammatory skin conditions. In this treatment procedure, substances like vitamins, amino acids, minerals, & enzymes are injected into tissue just beneath the skin. This in turn breaks down fat & brings slight improvement in appearance of cellulite. There however are also risks associated with this treatment which include infection, swelling, & irregular contours.
- Massage & Spa Treatment – These usually have a temporary effect on the dimpled appearance of skin, but they don’t remove cellulite.
- Laser Treatment – Employed through a device which uses laser energy to treat cellulite has been approved by the FDA. As the manufacturer claims it can melt fat under skin, break up fibrous bands under skin & stimulate collagen production thus reducing appearance of cellulite.
Myths and Misconceptions about Cellulite
There is plenty of wrong information circulating especially on internet where you have several websites offering secret cures. People make tall claims to sell products or services which may actually be useless. Let us look at some common myths & misconceptions about cellulite:
- Cellulite is caused by toxins in skin & pills can remove these as well as cellulite. However, truth is that it is not toxins that cause cellulite & while removing toxins will do good, it will not get rid of cellulite
- ‘Only overweight people get cellulite’ is another myth whereas this is simply not true. Even if you are slim you can still get cellulite because your genetic composition & age play an important part in deciding whether or not you will get cellulite
- Another myth is that aerobic exercises are the best way to get rid of cellulite. It is true that aerobic exercise may help to some extent but it is better to do strength training along with aerobics. Lifting weights will also help as it will tone muscles & reduce weight thus reducing appearance of cellulite.
- Wearing compression clothing also does not eliminate cellulite & in fact it can make matters worse in the long run by restricting blood flow in body.
- Drinking more water also does not eliminate cellulite nor does it prevent from occurring. Of course drinking more water is good for overall health but it does not affect cellulite.
- Skin firming products reduce cellulite as some people selling them will want you to believe. In these cases the effect of caffeine in some of these products is cited as an example. Of course caffeine reduces appearance of cellulite to some extent but this effect is temporary.
Treating Cellulite in India
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