What is Cellulite
Have you ever wondered why you usually only notice cellulite on women? Cellulite affects around 80 to 90% of women over age 20 predominantly due to the difference in skin structure to men. Cellulite is not related to genes nor is cellulite hereditary. Anyone can have cellulite – even the most toned supermodels you see in magazine spreads or your favourite celebrity – they all have it.
Fat cells in our body feed on blood flow. A teenager is less likely to have cellulite as the fat cells under the skin receive a healthy flow of blood supply. But as time passes, the body changes and lifestyle changes, factors like hormone changes, smoking, lack of sleep or exercise can affect blood flow to the fat cells.
The female skin tissue is made up of freestanding fat cell chambers. These chambers are made up of vertical walls of connective rubberband-like tissue. To obtain healthy blood flow for survival, fat cells change its shape and size by pushing and shoving against each other. As the fat cells get bigger, the “rubberbands” elongate upwards forming an arc-like dome to allow for space within the chambers. With the fat cells pushing up against the dermis and therefore the epidermis too, our skin appears to be more uneven, wrinkly and dimply.
Additionally, as our skin ages, our body temperature decreases, making it even harder for a healthy blood flow. So the key to reducing cellulite is to increase circulation into these subcutaneous cells, but how?
Bad news first? Due to the natural structure of the female skin, there’s still no permanent cure for cellulite. Scientists, though, have developed a grading system for it, categorized into the four basic stages of cellulite. If left untreated, cellulite can cause the connective tissue bands to harden, making it less elastic than before and can potentially cause discomfort. It is important that you identify the stage of cellulite which you are currently experiencing so that you can decide on the most suitable solution, or to prevent it from getting worse.
The four stages of cellulite
Stage 1: No dimpling appears when you sit, stand or when you squeeze and manipulate the skin – only wrinkles.
Stage 2: Dimples only appear when you squeeze and manipulate the skin.
Stage 3: Slightly visible dimpling can be seen on buttocks, thighs or belly when standing but not when lying down or when you stretch the skin.
Stage 4: Dimpling is visible when standing or lying down. No skin manipulation needed for dimpling to appear. You may also experience pain when you stretch the skin.
Now that you know the different cellulite stages, here is the good news – you are now able to control and reduce the appearance of it so that you never have to experience its stage 4 wrath. (YAY!) Here are some recommended treatments to help with cellulite that can be done at home. Alternatively, if you prefer some specialized help or simply enjoy being pampered, we also have some recommendations for getting rid of cellulite professionally too.
Home-based treatments to treat cellulite
A simple way to improve the appearance of cellulite is with a lotion or cream. While there are quite a number of lotions and creams for cellulite on the market, there are several ingredients that you should look out for before making your final decision.
Keep a lookout for lotions or creams that contains caffeine. Caffeine is known to dilate blood vessels beneath the skin and improves blood flow (to the dimple area). This helps to temporarily tighten the skin, making it look smoother.
Retinol is one of the essential ingredients for any cellulite topical solution on the market. It absorbs into the skin, exfoliates it and increases collagen production. As a result, retinol reduces the appearance of cellulite by thickening the skin, giving it a firmer and toner look.
While cellulite creams and lotions provide only temporary results and make the appearance of cellulite less obvious, they are great options those who want a fuss-free solution or for those with mild cellulite.
Exercising daily, eating healthy, maintaining a well-balanced diet & drinking plenty of water are important factors in increasing and keeping a healthy blood flow, burning fat and flushing out toxins from the body. Maintaining this routine will gradually improve the appearance of your skin and prevent further development of cellulite.
Massaging and exfoliating your skin regularly help with breaking down enlarged fat cells and lymphatic deposits; this improves blood circulation and helps plump up the skin.
Professional cellulite treatments
If you are not the diligent type who has the discipline to massage creams onto your skin, or are looking for treatments that will give you a longer-lasting result, here’s what we recommend.
Cellulaze is a minimally-invasive laser treatment that is normally done under local anaesthesia or topical numbing solution. It is recommended for women who maintain a healthy weight but struggle with cellulite deposits on their skin.
Using heat energy to break down fat cells and to cut the connective bands (that holds the skin to deeper tissues) under your skin, Cellulaze is the only treatment that requires only one session to see long-lasting result.
The laser also helps to promote collagen production, firming the skin, improving its elasticity and minimizing the orange peel appearance. The overall effect gives your skin a smoother look.
While the entire procedure may last up to one and a half hours, you will need to take a day off from work and at least a week off from strenuous activities after your procedure. Your doctor will most likely advise you to wear a compression garment as bruising and swelling may appear.
Visible results from Cellulaze are usually noticeable within 3-6 months after the procedure and annual follow-up treatments may be needed to maintain your results.
Another treatment option is Acoustic Wave Therapy (AWT). Unlike lasers, AWT is a non-invasive cellulite treatment that delivers acoustic sound waves into the affected body regions.
What AWT does is it promotes blood circulation, improves cell metabolism, lymph drainage, and the overall environment within the fat cell chambers. This acoustic wave technology provides a safe and effective solution to reduce the appearance of cellulite, without damaging any tissue or side effects.
Source: Storz Medical
Approximately six to eight treatments are needed to see results, depending on the stage of cellulite. It is recommended you drink plenty of water before a treatment and maintain an active and healthy lifestyle for results to last. AWT has zero downtime; this means you will be able to return to your daily activities immediately after each treatment session.
Find out more about Acoustic Wave Therapy for cellulite here...
or here: Dr Tan and Partners @ DUO
Address: 7 Fraser St, #B3-18, DUO Galleria, Singapore 189356
Telephone: +65 6976 5023
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This guide is proudly brought to you by Dr Tan and Partners.