Cellulite is a condition that many women suffer from, affecting 93% of women, according to Dendy Engelman MD, Dermatologic Surgeon at Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery and 10% of men, according to David McDaniel, MD Director of the Institute for Anti-Aging at Eastern Virginia Medical School. So if you are reading this, take comfort that you are not alone.
What is Cellulite?
Cellulite resembles lumps and bumps that appear on the skin, usually around the buttocks and thighs but it can also appear on the abdomen too. It is sometimes referred to as “orange-peel” skin (because that’s what it looks like, raised and dimpled ). In 2009, there was a cellulite severity scale that was published (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19220646) which splits cellulite into three different gradings, 1 to 3. One is the mildest form which resembles a slight sagging of skin along with a light “orange-peel” look, two refers to more moderate cases when skin is more saggy and with a deeper, more wrinkled “orange-peel” appearance and grade 3 is severe cellulite. It resembles large amounts of sagging skin and very deep, pitted looking skin around the area affected.
Why Do We Get Cellulite?
If the above sounds familiar, then you’ve got cellulite but the question is – why have you got it? As you already know, it affects many people however, it doesn’t just appear, there are reasons why cellulite forms. Many people wrongly believe that it only affects people that are overweight but this is simply not true. Even very slim women can suffer with cellulite and while there is a connection with inactivity, cellulite also affects fit, active people too.
Women’s bodies are designed for childbirth and that is why they tend to carry more fat in the hip and thigh area. Women also have less supportive connective tissue which keeps everything tightly in place. Additionally, hormones play a role in cellulite development. You might well find that your cellulite has worsened with age and that’s because your body produces less oestrogen as you get older.
Oestrogen is responsible for keeping blood flowing smoothly and when there isn’t enough of this hormone, blood doesn’t circulate as well as it should. This lack of hormone also leads to the breaks down of connective tissue and reduces collagen production too. Additionally, fat cells get bigger when oestrogen levels drop. All of these factors lead to and increase cellulite.
Genetics also play a part. Unfortunately, if your mother and grandmother had cellulite, the chances are you will too. However, as most women develop it at some point, if you haven’t got it, you’re lucky and one of the small percentage of women who probably won’t ever have it.
What Can You Do To Banish Cellulite?
Before you throw out your running shoes, exercise can help reduce the appearance of cellulite (that doesn’t however mean it will remove it altogether). A healthy diet and a good regime of exercise does help to make a difference, and it’s beneficial for an all-over better lifestyle. As cellulite is caused by the breakdown of connective fibres underneath the skin, any form of toning exercise will help to build-up firmness. Exercise also helps to burn away fat and increase circulation and this can help diminish dimpled looking skin. When you start to tone up, the skin tightens up and so cellulite isn’t as noticeable.
Can Massage Help Reduce Cellulite?
So if exercise and diet is effective but it isn’t a failsafe method to get rid of the orange-peel effect that cellulite creates – is there anything that does work? One of the things that is believed to help reduce and even remove cellulite is by massaging the areas affected. One of the reasons why cellulite massage helps is because often exercise doesn’t work on areas such as the upper thigh or above and inside the knee area. Cellulite massage can easily reach these areas.
There are lots of different types of cellulite massage, even cellulite massage that you can administer yourself using cellulite massagers, dry brushes or cups. These are especially useful if your budget doesn’t stretch to regular massage treatments at a professional massage studio.
Remember, while cellulite can be reduced significantly by massage, it is not an instant win. It takes time and dedication, however, regular daily cellulite massage for a good ten minutes (depending on severity and areas affected) can breakdown the fatty deposits and promote a smoother looking skin.