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Saturday
May282005

What Is Cellulite?

Considering that cellulite appears in 90% of all women, it is an all-too-familiar phenomenon. There are plenty of products and techniques available to treat cellulite, but knowing the underlying cause will help you make an informed choice.

Cellulite is the appearance of dimpling or an orange-peel skin texture caused by fat stores. At one time, obesity was believed to be the culprit. Since cellulite appears in under, normal and over weight people alike, we know this is not the case. Cellulite is more common in women than men. Women, by nature, have greater fat stores, making them more prone to cellulite. It most often appears in the thigh, abdomen and buttock area; places where the female anatomy normally carries higher concentrations of fat.

Cellulite occurs in the layers of fat below the skin. There are three fat layers, and cellulite forms in the upper, or subcutaneous, section. This layer contains a net-like connective tissue that joins muscle and skin. Within the connective tissue are chambers for fat storage. These pockets vary in size and shape between men and women; also contributing to the difference in cellulite occurrence. Pockets in women are large vertical chambers with greater storage capacity.

Cellulite forms when the connective tissue below the skin becomes damaged by poor blood and lymph circulation. This weakening pulls down upon the tissue fibers, contorting the fat chambers. The bulging fat stores press upward against the skin layers, creating a dimpled appearance.

There are many contributing factors to the appearance of cellulite, thankfully some within our control. Hormonal fluctuations can worsen the occurrence, but do not cause it. Similarly, lifestyle choices may worsen or improve the condition, but also neither cause nor fully cures it. As skin ages, the connective tissue loosens making the appearance of cellulite more pronounced. Maintaining the health of your skin, then, is your best defense. Ironically, liposuction, the removal of fat by surgical procedure, may worsen the appearance of cellulite. The absence of the cushioning fat layer makes the upper layer more prominent. Keeping physically active, maintaining a balanced diet including adequate fluid intake ensures your health, keeps your body and skin fit, and can minimize the appearance of cellulite.

Fortunately, relief may be on the way. New forms of Mesotherapies are coming into the market that are having a remarkable effect in the war on cellulite. One of these miracle-cures, Liposolve, dissolves fat cells anywhere in the body without surgery. But be carefull, many doctors and even medical chain-stores are trying to jump on the bandwagon and are offering treatments administered by nurses or other providers. Be sure that you choose a provider that is experienced in these treatments and specializes in non-surgical cosmetic medicine.
Cellulite is a normal occurrence in the body. While it may be impossible to completely remove it, there are many options and choices to minimize its appearance. Controlling cellulite is a matter of managing your health.

First published on medspa.com
Catherine Hayes (MedSpa Technologies)

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