Cellulite is the name given to the accumulation of fat in certain areas of the body. This cluster forms nodules of fat and toxins rejected by the body itself, technically called gynoid lipodystrophy or in common language skin bumps or lumps.
In some ethnic groups cellulite is a more common phenomenon than in others but studies claim that between 85% and 98% of the female population has suffered it after puberty in a greater or minor degree. It is directly related to a hormonal factors as It’s not usually found in men although they are existing cases in a lower percentage. Depending on the case we can find varying degrees of cellulite as: soft cellulite, hard cellulite and sclerotic cellulite.
How does it start?
The appearance of cellulite is visible as a result of a skin propriety change, specifically on the fat layer circulation also known as hypodermis. The fat tissue is concentrated in an area having no mobility and sidewalls of the hypodermis are widened to form visible skin dimples. They usually appear in areas such as thighs and buttocks as they are the most likely points to store fat, especially in women.
In fact, cellulite is not a disease in itself, but merely a problem that leads to an aesthetic effect being the contrary to what should be firm and smooth skin.
There are four distinct phases in cellulite appearence
2. In the second phase there is an increasing vascular dilatation. Symptomatically, the area starts to hurt when palpated. Skin lumps show up when skin is subjected to pressure. It is still a reversible phase.
3. If a person accesses the third phase, this means there is already a degeneration of collagen in the skin and a cellular degeneration involves significant skin nodules. The effect is hardly reversible.
4. In the fourth stage of the process there is an alteration in the nutrition of the tissue area without affecting the fat blocks. Usually related to the phase of the menopause in women. The “skin bump” effect is detected at a glance.
Nowadays there are various systems to treat this phenomenon, but none has been scientifically tested to ensure 100% effectiveness. Skin creams of all kind of brands that are sold worldwide as many other skin cosmetics aren’t sufficient to erase the appearance of cellulite. Furthermore, in some cases they have caused skin allergies produced by substances contained by these products.
Liposuction or surgery (for very aggravated cases) are a short term solution because if the person concerned does not change its habits, cellulite will reappear in a fairly short period of time.
On the other hand, massages on the affected area can help boost circulation partially depending also on patient’s physiological characteristics.
So far, the most effective and why not say it, the most sacrificed, is physical activity together with a correct dietary guideline. Cellulite is often associated with people who already are over-weighted or obese (though not always) and therefore need to lose weight. It’s essential to have a balanced diet without “junk foods” in between. Physical activity is important in general, both the muscular and cardiovascular workout.
The long-term cardiovascular exercise at low-medium intensity always helps us to consume mainly fat and will lead to a better circulation to reinvest the cellulite effect. If you also need to lose weight It’s important to alternate with a medium to high intensity and shorter duration to consume glycogen (carbohydrates).
Talking about muscles, is recommended to create a right tone throughout the body but especially in more localized areas such as legs and buttocks (where women tend to accumulate more fat). Muscular workout helps to increase metabolic range and promotes general circulation of the body including areas also containing cellulite.
Cellulite is reversible to a certain degree depending on its development, but there are no miracles that make it disappear forever. Constant work and a healthy and active life, in several cases will redirect to a normalized situation but once achieved, it should be a continuity that we should follow if not it may come back.