Cellulite is a cosmetic skin condition involving the accumulation of fatty deposits under the skin. It presents as areas of dimpled or puckered skin, most often appearing on the thighs, hips, buttocks and abdomen. This condition affects nearly 8 out of 10 women over the age of 20, as well as some men. Women more commonly develop cellulite because of the way fat is distributed in the lower half of the female body. Cellulite appears to have a genetic component since individuals who have family members with cellulite are more prone to develop the problem.
Causes of Cellulite
Cellulite, may develop for several reasons, including such factors as:
- Loss of skin elasticity due to aging
- Weight gain, as during pregnancy
- Poor diet
- Fad dieting
- Slow metabolism
- Lack of physical activity
- Hormonal changes
- Excessive body fat
- Type and tone an individual's skin
Treatment of Cellulite
While not of medical concern, cellulite is bothersome to many people who may feel self-conscious about wearing shorts or a bathing suit. Fortunately, there are treatments available to reduce the appearance of cellulite and to help patients restore their skin to its original smooth texture.
In some cases, home remedies may be all that is required. Since cellulite tends to be less noticeable on darker skin, applying a self-tanner may make the bumps and dimples on fair skin less noticeable. There are many over-the-counter treatments advertised to treat cellulite, but research has shown that most do not live up to their advertised claims. Fortunately, there are lifestyle changes that can help the appearance of the skin and improve the self-confidence of those affected with this condition. The simplest approach to reducing cellulite is to lose weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Other treatments are provided by physicians and may include:
- Laser or light therapy
- Herbal wraps
- Mesotherapy, treatment of the middle layer of the skin
- Dietary supplements
Risks and Benefits of Cellulite Treatments
Some cellulite treatments involve risks as well as visible benefits. Certain individuals with circulatory problems cannot use cellulite creams. Others may be allergic to such products. The positive aesthetic effects of some treatments, such as massage and body wrapping, may be short-lived. While the results of certain procedures, such as laser treatments or liposuction, may be highly successful, they also may occasionally cause problems such as indentations or fluid accumulation in skin tissues, or the long-lasting appearance of bruises.