Medically reviewed and approved by Nataniel Josue M.D.
Cellulite is an unsightly problem, which has been clinically proven to be present in up to 90% of women. This issue is more evident in some women than others. How can I fight cellulite? Our family doctor tells you how:
To fight cellulite, you must mainly change your lifestyle, leaving behind sedentary life, doing physical activities that help improve blood circulation. At the same time, maintain a balanced diet, avoiding salt consumption to reduce the retention of liquids that cause cellulite.
Although cellulite cannot be eliminated entirely, in this article, we will explain certain habits and natural and technological treatments that will help you fight undesirable cellulite skin.
What is cellulite?
Cellulite is a common skin condition that causes dimples or bumps to appear on the thighs, buttocks, hips, and abdomen and is more prevalent in women than in men. It is also known as orange peel skin.
Generally, it is found on the sides of the thighs and buttocks. Cellulite is formed by the increase of adipocytes (fat cells), which, when they increase in size, force the capillaries to compress. It is estimated that between 85% and 98% of women have cellulite, starting from when they reach adolescence.
- Dimples or bumps appear on the skin.
- Cellulite has a cottage cheese or orange peel texture.
- It is most common on the thighs and buttocks, although it can also form on the lower abdomen, upper arms, or breasts.
- If you pinch your skin, you can see the cellulite as in the thighs. When it is more severe, the skin looks wrinkled without being squeezed.
Types of cellulite
What are the different types of cellulite?
This type of cellulite presents pain, which is sometimes intense and is the most difficult to treat. It usually appears in the abdomen, thighs, lower back, arms, ankles, and skin accumulated under the armpits. It can also present in the form of tired leg syndrome.
At first, this presents a gelatinous character, which can lead to discomfort and permanent weakness. It can also lead to a complication with varicose veins and fluid retention.
This type of lipodystrophy is linked to the circulatory and lymphatic system’s malfunctioning. This consequently produces edematous cellulite.
This process happens because the transport of toxins and fluids through the body stops working correctly, resulting in pain, swelling, and sensitivity loss.
The skin begins to present irregularities, such as bumps due to the follicles’ dilation, breaks in the elastic fiber, and the generation of striae. The cellular tissue becomes thicker due to the accumulation of fats and toxins, affecting the circulatory system, bringing pain, cramps, and heaviness.
What causes cellulite?
Cellulite develops when there is a hormone overproduction, causing the fatty cells not to function well because they cannot perform their drainage function properly. The cells become inflamed, leading to an increase in size, and become rigid, not allowing the fluid to circulate properly.
Some causes that produce cellulite are:
- Leading a sedentary life.
- Natural hormonal changes, which are produced in women at puberty or pregnancy.
- Taking some artificial hormones such as estrogen.
- Wearing clothes that are too tight to the body.
- Eating a diet high in sodium.
- Obesity is not causally related to cellulite. Cellulite appears commonly in thin women and in those who habitually exercise.
Cellulite is more common in women than in men, so most of the risk factors are related to sex.
- Puberty. At this stage of our lives, cellulite can develop due to the hormonal changes experienced.
- Aging. The appearance of cellulite is typical when you age because the skin loses elasticity.
- Weight gain. A risk factor can be weight gain, although thin people also have cellulite.
- Genes. This problem can be hereditary, so genetics can play a significant role in its development.
Other risk factors for increased cellulite include pregnancy or an inactive lifestyle.
How to prevent cellulite
We can prevent cellulite by modifying some life habits such as:
- Not smoking.
- Drink plenty of water, do not over consume coffee.
- Exercise regularly.
- Do not eat foods that are high in sodium.
- Eating a diet rich in potassium, vitamin E, and vitamin C.
- Doing sport is very important for fighting cellulite. Combining cardio with strength exercises is beneficial because having more muscle burns more calories and the cellulite appearance will visibly improve.
- Carrying a balanced and varied diet so that the lymphatic and circulatory system works better.
How can I fight cellulite?
You can fight cellulite by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and doing regular exercise, but it isn’t easy to eliminate. There are some treatments and remedies that can reduce it:
Opt for a healthier and more balanced diet. You should avoid foods rich in sugars, fats, and carbohydrates. The ideal diet consists of plenty of vegetables and fruits. Also, reduce salt consumption because salt makes the body retain liquids and the tissues swell. When you cut down on salt, your body expels fluids more efficiently.
You should also reduce sugar and fat consumption since they facilitate toxins and degenerate adipose tissue. Here is a list of healthy foods to eliminate undesirable cellulite:
- Sunflower seed.
- Citrus fruit.
You should consume plenty of water to hydrate yourself from the inside and thus keep the cellular transport of toxins clean. By drinking a lot of water, you eliminate the liquids and purify the body. It is ideal to drink 2 liters of water daily; however, those women who have cellulite caused by fluid retention should consider limiting their consumption so as not to aggravate the problem.
Leading a sedentary life and doing little exercise are responsible for altering lymphatic circulation. With the practice of physical activity, you maintain good circulation, tone the muscles, and burn fat. All exercise is good to burn fat, especially those that activate increased blood circulation.
If you sit or stand for a long time, you begin to alter the blood circulation.
It is recommended that if you remain seated for a long time, you should stand up for a few minutes and stretch. It would be best if you kept your legs parallel when you are sitting since when the legs are crossed, the upper leg causes pressure to exert on the lower one, reducing circulation.
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Caffeine and nicotine are vasoconstrictors that reduce the amount of blood that reaches the entire body. It is also best to avoid alcoholic beverages since they encourage fluid retention and cause the tissues to swell and they also have a high caloric content.
Try not to wear tight clothing and high heel shoes
If you want to prevent cellulite, the main thing is to let the blood circulate nicely throughout the body. When wearing high-heeled shoes and tight clothing, the blood can be prevented from flowing correctly.
Appropriate contraceptive method
Contraceptives contain estrogen, which can cause fluid retention, and some tend to trigger cellulite. You have to be careful with contraceptive pills, especially if you already have cellulite; be prepared to change contraceptive methods if you want to reduce cellulite.
I recommend applying an anti-cellulite cream in the morning and at night, by massaging it into the skin so that it is better absorbed. These creams help a lot since they contain active ingredients that break the lipid chains that degrade fat.
Brush the skin dry
This is a technique used to eliminate toxins from the body. It consists of brushing the body from the feet to the head with a soft bristle brush, making constant circular movements. This technique eliminates toxins by improving circulation and will help you reduce cellulite.
It would be best if you did this brushing before bathing; it will also help the skin better absorb the anti-cellulite creams’ nutrients.
Lymphatic drainage consists of massaging the skin with the hands, exercising slow, rhythmic, and soft movements. You must do this movement following the flow of the lymphatic ducts. That promotes the action of the lymph and thus reduces the swelling of the treated area.
There are two ways to perform lymphatic drainage. One is done manually, and the other one in an assisted manner, where a kind of bag is used to wrap the body, and during this pressure is applied automatically.
This procedure consists of applying Carbon Dioxide (CO2) microinjections in the skin, specifically in the area where the specialist treats cellulite. Carbon dioxide is a gas that oxygenates the skin and eliminates fat naturally and efficaciously.
The injection of CO2 stimulates blood circulation in the treated area, increases the amount of oxygen, and reduces fat accumulation in the subcutaneous tissues.
This treatment does not require surgery, so you can return to your usual routine immediately, as it does not require a recovery time. Moreover, it has no side effects, nor does the skin present bruises when performed.
There may be some slight discomfort and redness where they place the microinjections, which usually disappear within a few minutes of the treatment being completed.
The number of sessions varies according to the area to treat, the results anticipated, and the patient. The average is a minimum of 10 sessions, lasting between 15 and 30 minutes, twice a week.
This is an aesthetic treatment whose purpose is to perform lymphatic drainage and help reduce cellulite. This technique consists of applying a pressure mechanism alternately upwards from the feet to the hip.
The specialist completely covers the legs and buttocks with special boots to perform this treatment. That stimulates the circulation and performs lymphatic drainage to remove more toxins and fat.
The pressotherapy acts both inside and outside, solving the aesthetic problems without surgery. It also increases the oxygen in the blood that nourishes the tissues to regenerate the cells. As a result, orange peel skin improves, and cellulite is reduced, whilst also giving firmness to the muscles if the person is active.
High energy acoustic waves
The acoustic waves technique consists of putting the skin in contact with pulsing sound waves that transmit vibrations capable of generating a response at the level of the fatty tissue, the dermis, and epidermis until they arrive at the muscular tissue. This technique helps fight cellulite, reduce localized fat, and firm up the tissues.
Acoustic waves are excellent for treating grade I-III cellulite. The number of sessions depends on the degree of cellulite the patient has. Between 5 and 10 sessions can be performed, with one or two sessions per week, each lasting approximately 30 minutes. It is a non-invasive technique without side effects, and the results can be seen from the first session.
Radiofrequency is a technique of high-frequency electrotherapy, which causes an increase in the generation of thermal energy to produce changes at the dermis level. This treatment increases the collagen fibers and the thickness of the elastic fibers; thus, it is possible to improve circulation and eliminate the toxins, as well as accelerating cellular repair.
Therefore, this technique treats both the skin’s deep and superficial layers without producing any lesions. It can be applied to any skin, and recovery is very quick.
For the application of radiofrequency, they use a gel or oil, which works as a conductive mechanism to avoid friction with the skin. The number of recommended sessions varies between 8 and 20 sessions, depending on the patient’s requirement. They can last between 20 and 50 minutes for each limb.
The application frequency is one session per week initially, and then it can be done every 15 days, depending on how the treatment evolves. Before each session, it is recommended to drink half a liter of water and half a liter after the session to help.
Liposuction is a surgical intervention that removes the deposits of fat located in different parts of the body. This procedure itself is not a cellulite treatment; however, it can improve the feeling of cellulite.
With this technique, do not expect to remove large amounts of fat. You can perform the removal of persistent fat deposits, but only up to 4.5 kg (10 pounds).
Liposuction offers you the possibility of safely eliminating fat and cellulite and improving areas resistant to diet or exercise.
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Do not be obsessed with cellulite, as it is an issue observed in more than 90% of women. You can have this issue no matter how overweight or thin you are.
The important thing is to follow a diet with healthy habits, use creams or gels to reduce cellulite, and apply both aesthetic and surgical techniques to achieve good results.