Cellulite is a type of fat commonly found on the thighs, stomach, buttocks and breasts. It forms when waste fluids and toxins are trapped under the skin, causing the connective tissue to harden and giving a dimpling effect. It also appears when the skin becomes thinner – a natural effect of ageing – exposing the rippled connective tissues underneath.
This article on how to get rid of cellulite is written by Jackie Griffiths, a freelance journalist who writes health, medical, biological, and pharmaceutical articles for national and international journals, newsletters and web sites.
While it is not dangerous to your health, no-one likes cellulite as it is considered aesthetically unappealing. If you want to reduce your cellulite for cosmetic reasons, start by getting rid of any excess body fat. If you are overweight, make sure you eat fewer calories and exercise more. Experts agree that aerobic exercise and strength training is the best weapon in cellulite treatment.
While scientists have not yet discovered a miracle cure, there are a lot of cellulite treatment options on the market. They each employ one or more of the following channels to attack cellulite:
- Strengthen blood vessels / increase blood flow
- Stimulate production of connective tissue
- Stimulate production of collagen and elastin
- Attract water to cells
- Repair cell membranes
- Reduce wastewater
- Prevent free-radical damage
- Reduce inflammation
- Promote exfoliation
Below is a selective list of popular cellulite reduction treatments.
Anti-cellulite creams – there are numerous topical cellulite treatments available that contain vitamins, herbs, minerals, and antioxidants. The best ones make the skin softer, smoother, healthier, and stimulate blood flow. By moisturising the affected area the appearance of cellulite can be reduced – but this is by no means permanent. Furthermore, you’re only treating the symptom rather than the cause. The underlying fat cells will still be present.
Acoustic Wave Therapy (AWT) – improves the skin’s elasticity by stimulating collagen production. AWT uses pressure waves which penetrate the skin and underlying fat to smooth out dimples and create firm skin. It is effective after about six treatments but further maintenance sessions are needed. However, the process is completely safe and pain-free, with minimal bruising.
Microdermabrasion – is a popular alternative to chemical peeling that uses a blast of aluminium oxide or salt crystals to exfoliate the skin. Tiny particles pass through a vacuum tube to gently scrape away the ageing skin and stimulate new cell growth. Multiple treatments are usually required.
Mesotherapy – is a cosmetic cellulite treatment that involves a series of painless injections to dissolve small areas of fat. A customised formula of vitamins, minerals and amino acids are deposited just beneath the skin to shrink the cellulite. It typically requires 10-15 sessions for effective results.
Lipodissolve – is similar to mesotherapy, in that it involves painless injections to affected areas of the skin. However, the difference is it uses a medication known as PCDC which goes deeper under the skin, and works with your body’s physiology to break down fat naturally. While it’s used in cellulite treatment it is probably more appropriate for reducing larger amounts of fat that reside deep under the surface.
Accent Radiofrequency – is a new and innovative cellulite reduction treatment which changes the shape of fat cells, and reshapes the connective tissue that forms the cellulite. It is pain-free, effective, and long lasting. Besides cellulite, it is also recommended for body reshaping and skin tightening.
Skin brushing – stimulates the blood and lymph flow, removes dead skin cells and encourages new cell growth. Using a loofah or body brush with natural bristles, spend up to five minutes in the shower brushing your whole body. In just a few sessions, the skin will become much softer and develop a rosy glow. Beware that overbrushing will cause the skin to become red and irritated.
Thalassotherapy – is derived from the Greek word thalassa meaning ‘sea’. It combines the application of seaweed and heated seawater, which is rich in minerals and nutrients such as iodine, copper, zinc, iron, strontium, and plankton. This dilates the pores and blood vessels, allowing the skin to absorb minerals which help reduce cellulite.
Endermologie – was originally developed in the 1980s as a non-surgical method for treating scars in burns victims. It comprises a massage machine with two rollers that provide a folding action to stretch the connective tissue and release cellulite. It is effective as a cellulite treatment after about six treatments and last for 6-12 months. It is relaxing (not painful) but does create some bruising, as with any deep tissue massage.