What Is Cellulite?

Even though up to 90% of women will develop cellulite, the condition isn’t considered to be acceptable or normal from an aesthetic perspective. Instead, having cellulite is often associated with weight gain or poor health, along with other misconceptions that make having the condition embarrassing and frustrating.

Cellulite occurs as lumpy, dimpled areas of skin and is often referred to as resembling cottage cheese or an orange peel. The condition usually develops on the hips, thighs, abdomen, and buttocks. Women are more susceptible to the condition because these are the areas where they typically store fat; however, cellulite also occurs in about 10% of men. 

Because cellulite is so common, there’s no shortage of advice and therapies for eradicating it. However, the most effective treatments for cellulite are those that are delivered by a medical professional like cellulite specialist Winnie King, MD, who maintains a private aesthetics and wellness practice in Shenandoah and Houston, Texas. 

Dr. King and her staff administer proven cosmetic treatments that can improve the look and texture of areas affected by cellulite. The results can give you smoother, more attractive skin, along with the self-confidence that comes with feeling you look your best.

Causes of cellulite

While science has had difficulty finding a reason for cellulite, we know that it isn’t an indicator of fitness. People of all weights and body types develop the condition, though it can be more noticeable on heavier people. 

Unmodifiable factors such as aging and a family history of cellulite can make you more likely to develop the condition, so trying to prevent it can be difficult. However, you can help improve the appearance of cellulite by drinking recommended amounts of water (eight 8 ounce glasses daily) and maintaining a healthy body weight. Incorporating weight training into exercise can help you replace fat with muscle, which can improve the appearance of cellulite in areas where it forms. 

Cellulite formation

Cellulite typically begins to appear between the ages of 25 and 35, though it can occur in women as young as teenagers. It’s associated with the structure of your skin and its response to changing levels of estrogen that decrease as you age.

Since estrogen affects your blood vessels, the natural reduction of estrogen that occurs with aging can slow circulation. Slower circulation contributes to reduced production of collagen, which helps to prevent the formation of cellulite when it occurs at optimal levels.

Cellulite occurs as a natural layer of fat right under your skin’s surface. The fat collects in pockets that are held in place by a web of connective collagen fibers that acts as a net to keep the fat in place. 

As collagen production decreases, the fibers that connect the fat to the skin can weaken or stretch. The result makes it easier for the fat to pop out through the “net” and push against the top layer of your skin. The pockets of fat appear as the dimples of cellulite when viewed from the outside of your skin.

Treating cellulite

With so many options for treating cellulite, along with the promise of improved self-confidence and appearance, it can be confusing to determine where to invest your time and money. 

While over-the-counter creams and home remedies may provide temporary improvement in the appearance of your cellulite, you’ll get the longest-lasting and most consistent results from in-office cosmetic cellulite treatments that involve minimal or no downtime. 

Smartlipo

Smartlipo is a professional lipolysis system from CynoSure®. This minimally invasive technique permanently removes fat using a process of laser-assisted liposuction. 

Smartlipo improves the appearance of cellulite by delivering laser energy to fat cells via a laser fiber. The process melts fat cells and suctions them out. The intense heat also stimulates collagen production, which can improve elasticity and smoothness over time in the treated areas.

Mesotherapy

Mesotherapy is a non-surgical cellulite treatment that involves the injection of phosphatidylcholine and deoxycholic acid (PC/DC) directly into areas of fat. The substances promote lipolysis, or the destruction of fat cells. Multiple mesotherapy treatments spaced at intervals of three to four weeks are typically necessary to achieve optimal cellulite reduction.

Mesotherapy originated in France and is popular in Europe. In the U.S., the only FDA-approved form of mesotherapy is Kybella®, a treatment that uses deoxycholic acid alone. Kybella is used to treat submental fat, which is the fat pocket under your chin.

Both Kybella and PC/DC injections for the flanks, arms, thighs, and abdomen are available at Dr. King’s practice.

Find out more about how cellulite develops and what you can do to feel and look your best. Call our Shenandoah or Houston office today for a consultation.

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