Cellulite is a cosmetic condition that makes the skin look uneven and dimpled. It is very common and affects up to 98% of women. Although cellulite is not a threat to physical health, it is seen as unpleasant and undesirable. So it can be a source of stress and anxiety for those who have it. In this article I want to show you some causes of cellulite, if the diet has any incidence and what you can do to eliminate it.
What is Cellulite?
Cellulite, or ginoid lipodystrophy, is a condition in which the skin looks uneven, dimpled and looks like “orange peel.” It is caused by changes in the structure of fat cells and connective tissues that are under the surface of the skin. These changes can cause fat cells to swell and push into connective tissue under the skin. In addition, changes in blood supply to areas affected by cellulite can result in additional retained fluids in the skin. This gives the skin the uneven appearance that is associated with cellulite.
“Interestingly, cellulite is seen almost exclusively in women and most commonly develops in the thighs, belly and buttocks”.
It is often classified according to its severity:
Grade 0: There is no cellulite.
Grade 1: Smooth skin when standing, but the appearance of orange peel when sitting.
Grade 2: The skin looks like orange peel when standing and sitting.
Grade 3: The skin looks like orange peel when standing with deeply elevated and depressed areas.
However, there is currently no standard method to evaluate and categorize this condition.
Summary: Cellulite is a condition in which the skin becomes uneven and full of dimples. It commonly affects women, especially around the belly, thighs and buttocks.
What Causes Cellulite?
The reason why people develop cellulite is not yet fully known, but it is likely to be triggered by a combination of factors. The most common theories involve hormones, gender, lifestyle and inflammation. However, age, genetic susceptibility and body shape can also play an important role.
Cellulite develops due to changes in the size and structure of fat cells. That is why it has been suggested that hormones such as insulin and catecholamines, which are involved in fat breakdown and storage, could play a key role in their formation. For example, it has been suggested that any hormonal imbalance that promotes fat gain over fat breakdown, such as high insulin levels, could put a person at a higher risk of developing cellulite. In addition, since cellulite is almost exclusively seen in women, it is believed that estrogen could play an important role. This theory may have some weight, since cellulite develops after women reach puberty. It also tends to get worse during times when women are experiencing changes in estrogen levels, such as pregnancy and menopause. However, despite this speculation, the exact role that hormones play in cellulite formation is currently unknown.
Women are much more likely to develop cellulite than men . One of the reasons for this involves differences in the way in which women’s connective tissue and fat cells are arranged under the skin. Women have a large number of fat cells that are placed vertically under the skin, with the upper part of the cells that meet the connective tissue at a right angle. On the contrary, men tend to have a smaller number of fat cells that are arranged horizontally, so they are in a flat position with each other. This makes it much more likely that fat cells in women penetrate through connective tissue and become visible under the skin. These structural differences go somehow in explaining why cellulite is almost exclusively seen in women.
The appearance of cellulite can be made worse by the accumulation of fluid in the surrounding tissues. It has been suggested that changes in blood circulation in areas affected by cellulite may be partially responsible. Some scientists have also suggested that cellulite could be caused by an inactive lifestyle. Sitting for prolonged periods is considered to influence blood flow reduction and cause these changes in cellulite prone areas.
Another theory is that cellulite is a connective tissue disorder caused by chronic low-grade inflammation. Some scientists have found immune cells that are linked to chronic inflammation, such as macrophages and lymphocytes, in tissues affected by cellulite. However, others have not found evidence of an inflammatory response in these areas.
Summary: The exact reason why people develop cellulite is unknown, but it is thought to be due to factors such as genetics, hormones and lifestyle.
Does Diet Play a Role in Cellulite Development?
The role of diet in the development and treatment of cellulite has not been well investigated. A group of scientists has suggested that a diet that contains excessive amounts of carbohydrates can make cellulite worse. This is because they think it could increase insulin hormone levels and promote an increase in total body fat. In addition, it has also been suggested that a diet that includes a lot of salt can increase fluid retention, possibly making them more noticeable. However, there is currently very little evidence to support these theories. That said, it is still a good idea to make sure you have a diet that does not contain excessive amounts of refined sugars or carbohydrates . It is also important to maintain a healthy weight and stay well hydrated. This is because weight gain and aging are related to an increased risk of developing cellulite. Therefore, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet could be useful. However, since cellulite occurs in almost all women, completely eliminating it may not be possible.
Summary: It is currently unclear what role diet plays in the treatment and prevention of cellulite. However, maintaining a healthy diet, staying hydrated and avoiding weight gain can be useful.
Could Improve (or Get Worse) with Weight Loss:
Weight loss is often promoted as a good way to get rid of cellulite. Weight gain can certainly make it worse, especially if you are already overweight, but the effectiveness of weight loss as a treatment is not clear. A small study found that weight loss helped reduce the severity of cellulite in most people, especially those who were overweight. However, about 32% of people in this study found that losing weight made their cellulite worse. The reason for this is not known, but it may be due to other factors. For example, differences in the structure and elasticity of connective tissue, as well as fluid retention, can contribute to the appearance of cellulite. In general, for most people, weight loss improves the appearance of cellulite, but this does not guarantee that it is the case for everyone.
Summary: Weight gain can make cellulite worse. However, weight loss does not always help and can make it worse for some people.
What Treatments are Available?
Although there is no known cure for cellulite, there is a wide range of treatments available for people concerned about their appearance:
Creams and Lotions:
Many creams and lotions are intended to reduce the appearance of cellulite. The active ingredients in these products usually include caffeine, retinol and some plant compounds. They claim that they help improve the appearance of cellulite by:
- Fat breakdown
- Increased blood flow
- Increased skin elasticity
- Reduction of fluid retention
However, these products have not been studied in depth and their benefits are not clear.
Manual stimulation involves skin massage with gentle pressure. It is said that this helps drain excess fluid and reduce the appearance of cellulite. It is also believed to work by breaking down fat cells so that they “rebuild,” realign and distribute more evenly, making your skin appear softer. Observational studies have found that this technique could help reduce the appearance of cellulite in the short term.
Sound Wave Therapy:
Acoustic wave therapy (TOA) sends low-energy shock waves through tissue affected by cellulite. It is believed that this can help increase blood flow, reduce fluid retention and break down fat. Some studies have found that TOA is effective in reducing the appearance of cellulite. However, other studies have found no effect, and the results are mixed. More studies are needed to find out if TOA is an effective treatment.
Laser or Light Therapies:
The high power laser or light-based devices are used directly on the skin in a non-invasive procedure or used under the skin in a more invasive procedure. Until now, non-invasive treatments have not been very successful. However, studies on invasive laser therapy have found that it can help improve the appearance of cellulite. Invasive laser light therapy is believed to work by the fusion of fat cells and some of the connective tissues that pinch the skin and generate dimples. It can also rejuvenate the skin and increase the production of collagen. However, studies so far have been very small. More research is needed.
The radiofrequency treatment consists of heating the skin using electromagnetic radio waves. Like laser therapy, it works by promoting skin renewal and collagen production, as well as the breakdown of fat cells. The intensity of the treatment can be adjusted by changing the frequency of the radio waves. It is often used in combination with other therapies such as massage. In general, most studies investigating radiofrequency treatments have shown little efficacy and produced mixed results. Because of this, it is not currently known how effective this treatment is, especially in the long term.
There are many other treatments that claim to treat and cure cellulite, including:
- Supplements: Includes Ginkgo biloba, Centella asiatica and Melilotus officinalis.
- Mesotherapy: Many small injections of vitamins in the skin.
- Carbon dioxide therapy: Infusion of carbon dioxide under the skin.
- Subcision: Small incisions to break the pieces of connective tissue that clamps the skin.
- Compression stockings: Pressure stockings to help with fluid retention.
- Collagen injections:Collagen injection in the affected areas.
However, the quality of the evidence in these cellulite treatments is generally very low, making it difficult to know how effective they are.
Summary: There are many different treatments available for cellulite. However, the studies investigating most of them are unreliable, and little is known about their long-term effects.
Can you Get Rid of Cellulite?
If you are concerned about cellulite, some of the methods discussed above may improve your appearance. However, there is currently no treatment that has proven effective for long-term elimination. In general, it may not be possible to completely avoid cellulite. However, eating a healthy diet, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight can help keep it at bay.