Cellulite is one of those aesthetic concerns that often complicates our relationships with our bodies, altering our perceptions of self-image as we compare those lumps and bumps to flawlessly edited photos across social media and advertising. While there has recently been a movement to love the skin we’re in, cellulite included, misleading information regarding its causes and treatments continue to spread, leading to further confusion and concern. Next time you’re grappling to understand your cellulite and the treatments available to you, recall the following five facts no one ever tells you about cellulite and set the record straight.
You’re used to seeing your body in a certain way, but when we begin to look at cellulite on an anatomical level, it’s as natural as smooth, firm skin. Essentially, it comes down to the structure of collagen and elastin fiber bands and the fat cells that fall beneath them. In females, these bands of connective tissue appear as a wide-spaced grid, while they appear more like smaller crisscrosses, similar to a chain link fence, in males. Often, this means that in females, as fat cells accumulate under the connective bands, they are less contained and push through the bands, resulting in fat pockets appearing on the surface as lumps and bumps. Estrogen also plays a role in collagen degradation, which further exacerbates the issue.
Not all cellulite is created equally. In fact, there are some forms of cellulite that aren’t typically visible. Technically speaking, there are four different grades of cellulite that range from zero to three. Zero assumes there is no visible cellulite, though it may be beginning to form under the surface and will soon become visible. Grade one, which is also called adipose cellulite, typically appears as minor dimpling, similar to an orange peel. Grade two, or oedematous cellulite, appears looser and softer, similar to cottage cheese, and is often a result of fluid retention. Finally, grade three, or fibrotic cellulite, is considered harder cellulite, with deeper dimples, some potential puckering, and lax skin. The grade of cellulite is important, as it typically determines which type of treatment may be most effective.
Genetics seem to play a significant role in determining whether or not you’ll develop cellulite, though there continue to be other factors involved that can raise and lower—but not eliminate—your inherited risk level. In other words, if your birth parent had or has cellulite, that trait has been passed down to you. While you can put in the work to minimize its appearance, no course of action can help you avoid the hereditary factor here.
While it’s certainly most common to see cellulite in areas like the thighs and buttocks, where skin is naturally thinner and where fat tends to accumulate in women’s bodies, cellulite can technically crop up in any area in which circulation is limited. Keeping the appearance of cellulite at bay is a constant balance between maintaining firm, elastic skin and limiting fat cell accumulation. If circulation to an area is reduced, the skin is unable to properly support its natural collagen and elastin production levels, weakening its structure and making way for fat cells to push through, leading to cellulite. In addition to the thighs and buttocks, some other common areas where cellulite may appear—though it’s worth underscoring that it could technically occur anywhere—are the hips, lower abdomen, upper arms, breasts, and chest.
While there are some easy ways to mask the appearance of cellulite, it’s understandable to want a longer-term solution. Topical creams, serums, and treatments are often our go-to when treating any skin concerns, including cellulite. Paying attention to active ingredients in creams can help from wasting money on those with unsupported claims, but for long-term results, a topical alone likely won’t do.
Instead, reducing the appearance of cellulite may be best approached by following a healthy, active lifestyle enhanced by cellulite reduction treatments and effective, science-backed skin care solutions. In particular, non-surgical cellulite reduction treatments utilize advanced energy-based technology to deliver heat therapy deep below the skin’s surface, effecting change from the inside out. Targeted thermal energy helps to break down the underlying fat cells while stimulating skin’s natural collagen production levels to counteract the effects of estrogen, aging, and more. The result is a visible improvement in the appearance of bumps and dimpling for smoother, firmer-looking skin. For even better results, pair your treatment with a follow-up skin care regimen that is designed to work in unison with an energy-based cellulite reduction procedure, such as the Venus Skin™ Body Lift Kit, which includes a firming cream and lymphatic stimulator to help maintain and extend your treatment results at home,
For those interested in learning more about your non-surgical cellulite reduction treatment options, locate a certified treatment provider near you using the search field below.