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What is cellulite?

2013-06-02

Cellulite is the change of the visual appearance of the top layer of the skin, often also called the orange peel syndrome, cottage cheese skin, and the mattress phenomenon in colloquial language. Even thou, a number of women sometimes view this issue lightmindedly, even humorously, cellulite is a surprisingly widespread problem, especially among women (it bothers up to 90% of women is different societies).

We justly think of cellulite as a modern phenomenon, however it has existed in all times. Many centuries ago obesity and cellulite for women were the certification of their social status – it mainly affected ladies from rich families, who all benefits life offered (including unlimited choice of food and wealth) were easily available to and who spent their days in leisurely pastime and enhancing life enjoyments, not in hard physical labour (thus, moving actively).

Nowadays, the beauty standard has changed considerably – now cellulite is not even close to being the confirmation of one’s high social status, in fact, it’s the very opposite. This idea is even more spread by the media, especially the one devoted the women’s audience, and brought about by modern fashion trends maintaining the cult of slenderness in the society.

Cellulite is not considered to be a disease. However, it is also a mistake to call it just a cosmetic defect. During the past few years we are more often invited to address the problem of cellulite in due time, as it has been proven that unattended cellulite may become a cause for a number of medical issues (vein varicosity and thrombosis, heart and vascular diseases) caused by poor blood circulation and delayed elimination of unnecessary fluids from the body.

Definition: cellulite is the fat tissue of irregular shape consisting of fat, water and toxic substances that accumulate just below the surface of the skin, concentrating in one or a number of areas on the body. Since in case of cellulite the blood circulation and lymph flow in is prevented, our body is not able to eliminate this fat in a natural way.

Why does cellulite appear?  

Cellulite appears when hypodermic connective tissue becomes weak and deformed. It is most commonly caused by our body not getting rid of the unnecessary substances and toxins in the required amounts. Therefore fat accumulates and starts to form into clumps, becoming visible as unattractive hypodermic formations.  

Cellulite is cunning – it slowly takes over our bodies when we’ve neglected to take care of ourselves and our bodies for quite some time. Cellulite can be facilitated by:

-        sedentary lifestyle;

-        bad diet;

-        hormone imbalance;

-        heredity;

-        stress.

The studies of the recent years have shown that the level of hormones in our body, especially the female hormone oestrogen has a great influence. During the period of activity of this hormone our body consumes much more liquid, therefore for the circulation of substances to happen on a normal level, it is necessary to drink more water than usually. Dehydration is one of the reasons why cellulite intensifies during pregnancy and puberty, as well as during the use and after interruption of use of hormonal contraceptives.

It is also misleading to believe that only obese women can be affected by cellulite. Slender women are often bothered by this problem as often, moreover – it can also affect men. For women these skin irregularities usually appear on hips, belly and thighs, for men – on the belly.

There are four degrees of cellulite according to the Nurnberger-Muller scale:

  • Degree 0 – there are no visible causes or apparent alterations to the skin surface.
  • Degree 1 – there are no visible signs of cellulite, however the skin becomes uneven and the orange peel is apparent when the skin is pinched between the palms. 
  • Degree 2 – the cellulite is visibly apparent when the specific body part is taut or pressed (for instance, when sitting).
  • Degree 3 – the cellulite is visible even if the body part is fully relaxed.

How to fight it?

Many centuries have passed since the time of Renaissance when cellulite and obesity were considered a sign of particular femininity and beauty. The first method for curing cellulite was used in Sweden in the end of the 19th century. And regardless of the fact that the problem of cellulite has largely taken over the world particularly during the past few decades, the initial elements for its cure have remained unchanging. These include:

a regular massage,

regular physical activities,

well-balanced diet.

It is important to remember is not the problem which can be solved using only one specific method. It is a complex of measures to be taken, including not only appropriate and regular skin and body care, but also active and healthy lifestyle – sports, outdoor activities, healthy diet.

However, keep in mind that:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet will make you slender, nonetheless no food or diet can eliminate your cellulite or prevent it from appearing;
  • Just like a healthy diet, your body also requires a specific amount of liquid, however you won’t get rid of cellulite by only consuming larger quantities of water;
  • Using anti-cellulite creams or oils, if it is not done wisely and on regular basis, will not reduce your cellulite, as majority of these creams do not penetrate deep enough into the skin. Only in combination with an effective and regular massage, using different massage accessories (gloves, brushes) can the desired effect be reached;
  • If you are active and exercise daily on regular basis, the risk of cellulite appearing will decrease, however, even being physically active you won’t be protected from this problem if you maintain unhealthy diet and consume food filled with toxins and hormones.

By getting rid off cellulite you will not only improve your health and obtain beautiful skin. When your body will get rid of accumulated toxins and unnecessary fluids, you will notice – the circumference of your thighs has reduced. This is one of the ways for you to be able to determine if the anti-cellulite method and products you’ve chosen deliver the desired results – day after day your skin will become more beautiful and smoother and the circumference of your thighs/ hips will decrease.

Popular myths about cellulite

  • I am not overweight therefore I do not have cellulite.

Appearance of cellulite is not connected with the amount of fat, but their correct burning and eliminating the unnecessary fluids from your body. Therefore it is not right to believe that by losing the extra weight, the cellulite will disappear at once.

  • I am too young to have cellulite.

The age, just like the extra weight, has little to do with the appearance of cellulite. As it is often caused by hormonal imbalance in the body, the cellulite may appear already during puberty or at a very senior age.

  • Cellulite is a disease.

For a woman’s body cellulite is not a disease. As the most recent studies show that it is connected with the activity of the female hormone oestrogen, even such assumptions were made that for a women it is a norm. However, progressing cellulite can be particularly unpleasant, therefore it should be avoided with the help of healthy lifestyle.

  • Only posh girls are concerned about cellulite, normal women do not care about it.

Cellulite is unmistakably the most popular modern defect and it is often conveniently used by different cosmetics brands in their business interests. However, it should not be lightmindedly considered as the next fashionable thing. Cellulite is not a disease, but it can be an indicator of various serious illnesses. As the fat cells accumulate with time, the body cannot get rid of harmful toxins which, as the blood circulation declines, can have a negative effect on metabolism, thus inducing vein varicosity and other serious diseases. As a result of declining blood circulation, your skin lacks oxygen and it may cause premature aging.

  • It is harder to fight cellulite than obesity.

Cellulite is a combination of fat cells and water, located close to the top layer of the skin. These fat cells are not different from other fat cells in our body. Therefore fighting cellulite is neither more complicated nor easier. The orange peel appearance, especially if clearly visible, is very upsetting to women, therefore they think that fighting cellulite is harder. Also, the results are not visible right away. Following a diet even for a couple of days, we can immediately observe that our weight has decreased, but using a specialised cream and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, there may be no visible results for quite some time. It is important to be patient and persistent.

  • You can get rid of cellulite ONLY by using special creams/ attending the gym/ maintain a healthy diet/ consuming large amounts of water on a daily basis/having a body massage/ having a honey massage.

None of these methods used separately can quickly deliver you the desired result. The best and most quickly visible improvements will appear if you make time in your daily routine for all of these activities. But it is very important to start with even the littlest changes – healthy breakfast, evening jog, regular self-massage, and with time and patience the results will not remain unnoticed.

  • Liposuction (fat removal) helps to get rid of cellulite forever.

With the help of this surgical procedure you may only get rid of extra weight, not the cellulite. Furthermore, the removed fat may reappear on the same body parts just as fast, if you change nothing about your lifestyle.

  • No cream or oil will help me to fight off cellulite.

Seeing the first sighs of the dimpled appearance of the skin that may indicate the progression of cellulite, the majority of women immediately search the shops for cosmetic products against the orange peel effect. Many have been disappointed by the results of these products, and it has cultivated a myth that anti-cellulite cosmetics is ineffective. Remember – none of these creams are miracle-workers. If the cream or oil is used as the only tool, curing cellulite is difficult, however, cosmetics may help to reduce the visual appearance of cellulite and along with other methods – to achieve truly noticeable and long-lasting result.  

  • Only expensive creams bought from professional salons can be effective.

The choice of an anti-cellulite product depends on the degree of your cellulite. Professional products bought in pharmacies or salons contain more concentrated and active ingredients. However, doctors are still debating over the fact to what extent these ingredients can reach and influence the deeper layers of our skin. Moreover, using any anti-cellulite cream or oil can only be a preventive measure in fighting cellulite. If no other changes are implemented in one’s lifestyle, even the use of professional creams will not be an effective solution to the problem.

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