The term describing the hollowed skin appearance usually caused by fat deposits just beneath the skin is cellulite. It is commonly seen on skin in the lower limbs, pelvic region and abdomen. Cellulite normally appears after puberty. The medical terms for cellulite are status protrusus cutis, gynoid lipodystrophy, adiposis edematosa, and dermopanniculosis deformans. In street jargon, it is known as cottage cheese skin, mattress phenomenon, orange peel syndrome, and hail damage. Cellulite is classified in three grades: Grade 1 has no clinical symptoms – only underlying anatomical changes; Grade 2 shows pastiness or pallor, decreased elasticity and lower temperature aside from the anatomical changes; Grade 3 shows obvious skin roughness much similar to orange peel and all the Grade 2 signs. Both men and women can develop cellulites although women tend to have it more than their counterparts.
Without any definitive and known data, several theories hold as to the possible causes of cellulite. Hormones are said to play a vital role in the development of cellulite. Thyroid hormones, estrogen, noradrenaline, prolactin and insulin all play a part in producing cellulite. Aside from hormones, experts also point to genetic links as a possible reason for developing cellulite. Race, gender, low metabolic rate, circulatory insufficiency and fat distribution underneath the skin may also be associated to cellulite. Diet, lifestyle factors and clothing are the other factors deemed to cause cellulite formation.
Fortunately, there are numerous ways and therapies suggested as effective to eliminate cellulite although none have medical literature support yet. Heat therapy, radio frequency, pneumatic massages and massages that speed up lymphatic flow, endermologie, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, radial waves therapy and magnetic therapy are the therapeutic physical or mechanical methods that can help remove cellulite. Unfortunately, these methods have no scientific proof that they are indeed effective cellulite removal options. Another cellulite removal strategy is through medication. Drugs such as pentoxifylline, methylxanthines, Indian chestnut, ginkgo biloba, alpha-antagonists, rutin, beta-agonists and adrenaline and amino acids act on fatty tissues. However, none of these drugs have proven to be effective just yet.
Another way to eliminate cellulite is by wearing special clothing known as compression garment which compress the arteries, increase the flow of blood and lymph to reduce visual cellulite. Liposuction, contrary to some beliefs does not actually remove cellulite. Eating healthy diet and exercise can reduce the appearance of cellulite. Low fat foods which include vegetables, fruits, and fiber can help prevent the formation of cellulite as is regular exercise. Maintaining a healthy weight, less stress and wearing of appropriate clothing like boy shorts, loose-fitting undergarments or thongs can also help prevent cellulite. Tight-fitting elastic fabric should also be avoided.
Still considered the gold-standard treatment for cellulite is dry body brushing. It’s a daily ritual that requires dedication to have a glowing, smooth and dimple-free skin pay-off. This method works because the lymphatic system is stimulated by the brushing. A firm body brush on the dry skin in long strokes towards the heart, before a shower is recommended.
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