To understand the treatment of cellulite we first must gain an understanding of what cellulite is and why it forms. Cellulite is found in 80-90% of women and has been found to form in women as young as the age of 8 years old. It is typically found in the hip and thigh region and effects women with all different body shapes and sizes. Although cellulite does worsen in those overweight it can also effect very thin women as well.
After doing much study and working with many women with cellulite I’ve come to understand cellulite is a characteristic of women’s physiology. When you look at cellulite the first thing you think of is fat, but really what you are looking at is a breakdown of the connective tissue or fascia that lays between the adipose tissue/fatty tissue and dermis layer of your skin. This connective tissue lays parallel to your skin and separates the skin from the underlaying adipose tissue/subcutaneous layer.
Certain factors can cause the connective tissue to break down or fat cells to push upon the connective tissue and cause bulges to appear. Too high of caloric intake will increase the size of the fat cells and eventually will lead to the formation of new fat cells. This can cause the fat cells to press upon the connective tissue and cause what look to be hernias in the connective tissue. The fat cells push into the dermis and cause dimpling.
Dehydration can weaken the connective tissue and slow down the lymphatic system. The lymph system removes cellular waste from the body and fatty tissue. If this waste builds up within the fat cells the appearance of cellulite can worsen.
Treatments for Cellulite
Dry Brushing- is a very simple technique that can be used to stimulate the lymphatic system to drain. This removes excess water and interstitial congestion from the body. It also helps exfoliate the skin and causes new collagen and elastic fibers to form. This helps the overall appearance of the skin.
Foods such as coffee, tea and chocolate can help our fat be utilized properly in our body. These foods all contain caffeine and are best taken when the insulin is low. These foods are all known as xanthines and they inhibit the enzyme phosphodiesterase. This enzyme destroys the messenger that tells our body to breakdown fat. Xanthines only work in this way when the insulin levels are low in the blood. So it’s best to take these xanthines when you haven’t eaten in a while.
Estrogen levels – High estrogen levels will produce more collagenase, an enzyme that breaks down the peptide bond in collagen. This weakens the connective tissue that separates the fatty tissue and skin. Avoiding foods and chemicals that increase estrogen can help keep the connective tissue stronger and reduce the appearance of cellulite.
When it comes to cellulite typically it is much more complicated than just a weight problem. Enzymes, amino acids, and hormones all play an important role; because of the complexities it’s hard to get a straight forward answer as to how to treat it. When looking at cellulite next time, try and remember multiple processes are taking place that effect the connective tissue and how the adipose fat is organized.