What is Cellulite?

Cellulite is a condition where the skin looks lumpy and dimpled. It occurs when fat deposits push through the connective tissue under the skin, usually in the buttocks and thighs, but it can occur in other areas of the body as well.

WHO GETS CELLULITE?

Both men and women can be affected by Cellulite, though it is more common in women because of connective tissue and the distribution of fat and muscle in females.

It’s estimated that between 80 and 90 percent of women will experience cellulite at some point in their lives.

HOW IS CELLULITE RANKED?

Cellulite is ranked on a severity scale of 1 to 3.

Grade 1 – Mild
Between 1 and 4 superficial depressions and a slightly saggy appearance to the skin.

Grade 2 – Moderate
Between 5 and 9 medium-depth depressions, and the skin appears draped, with a “cottage cheese” appearance.

Grade 3 – Severe
10 or more deep depressions and the skin is severely draped with what is called a “mattress” appearance.

WHAT CAUSES CELLULITE?

The exact cause is unknown, but it is reported to result from an interaction between the connective tissue just below the surface of the skin and the layer of fat that is just below the dermatological layer of skin.

Most likely, hormones and age play role in the development of cellulite.

One theory is that as estrogen decreases when entering menopause, there is a decrease in blood flow to the connective tissue under the skin. When then there is lower circulation, there is less oxygen which results in lower collagen production. As the fat under the skin protrudes due to these factors, the skin gets a dimpling effect.

There are also genetic considerations, like distribution of fat, ethnicity, metabolism and circulatory levels.

Diet can play a role in the formation of cellulite dimples. A diet that is low in salt, fat and carbohydrates and high in fiber is recommended.

Exercise may also lessen the formation of cellulite dimples.

Cellulite occurs mostly after the age of 25, but it can affect teenagers as well.

WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR CELLULITE REDUCTION?

If you are not significantly overweight and are in overall good health, you are a candidate for cellulite reduction. You must have realistic expectations, however. Some treatments will reduce dimpling, but not totally eliminate cellulite.

“The ideal candidate for cellulite reduction is a person who exercises and is close to their target weight. You don’t want to have a high BMI,” says Danielle Boyd, Aesthetician from Cosmetic Surgery of New York in Port Jefferson.

“Also, you have to drink a lot of water, especially after any treatment. It will flush out your system. And stay away from sugar,” Boyd adds.

WHAT ARE THE MOST POPULAR TREATMENTS FOR CELLULITE?

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES 

Caffeine, grape seed extract or ginko biloba
These are usually applied topically or taken orally, but none have been proven effective in cellulite reduction or removal.

Compression garments
Used to reduce the appearance of cellulite by compressing arteries to increase blood flow to those areas.

Dry brushing
A natural treatment that can be done at home. It involves scrubbing the affected with a stiff-bristled brush. The correct way to brush is with upward strokes to stimulate the lymphatic system while boosting circulation and exfoliating the skin, which can reduce the appearance of cellulite. Dry brushing must be done every day.

The most effective way to reduce the formation of cellulite is to eat a balance, healthy low-fat diet and exercise regularly.

NON-INVASIVE ENERGY-BASED CELLULITE TREATMENTS

VelaShape® is a non-surgical, energy-based body treatment that improves the appearance of cellulite using RF and infrared light. It also claims to reduce the circumference of your thighs in as little as four treatment sessions with dramatic results and with no downtime.

“At Cosmetic Surgery of New York, VelaShape treatments are adjusted to each person’s individual needs,” says Boyd.

VelaShape® is an FDA-approved medical device for the temporary reduction in cellulite and the reduction of the size of the thigh. It is also used on the buttocks and abdomen.

VelaShape® uses infrared light, radio frequency, massage rollers and suctioning to contour the body. It is commonly used in combination with liposuction, tummy tuck or other body contouring procedures to reduce the appearance of cellulite.

The VelaShape® handpiece is applied to the surface of the skin by a technician. There are rollers on the handpiece that massage and smooth out the skin, while directing infrared radio frequencies into the skin which warm up the underlying tissue, causing fat cells to melt and break up. The fat is then naturally flushed out of the body.

VelaShape® procedures are recommended every week for six to eight weeks with touch-ups suggested every few months after the treatment is completed.


WHEN IS COSMETIC SURGERY A BETTER OPTION THAN A NON-INVASIVE PROCEDURE?

If you have significant loose or sagging skin and want more dramatic body sculpting results, then you should schedule a complimentary consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon.

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