About 90% of women have or have had some degree of cellulite, currently considered the most widespread aesthetic skin problem in the Western world. Although no infallible treatment exists, certain factors can prevent or ameliorate the problem.
Cellulite, or gynoid lipodystrophy, is a physiological disorder affecting the subcutaneous tissue that makes it impossible for the tissue to carry out its normal functions of transporting food and oxygen to cells and removing waste products. Cellulite develops in several parts of the body, mainly around the hips, thighs, buttocks, gluteal area and abdomen, and is more common in women – whether overweight or thin – than in men. This is due to hormonal factors and the different distribution of fat, muscle and connective tissue in the skin of men and women.
The excessive accumulation of fat and the ongoing deposition of fluids and toxins in the interstitial tissue alter the structure and appearance (fibrosis) of the skin, which becomes spongy, with “orange peel” dimples.
Factors favouring cellulite
Being female itself predisposes one to develop cellulite. But other factors play an important role in its development and progression, for example, hormonal changes, hereditary, congenital, ethnic and racial factors, age, lymphatic vascular failure, slow metabolism, an unhealthy lifestyle (sedentary habits and little exercise), stress and mood disorders, lack of sleep, tight clothing, certain postures and, above all, inadequate diets, smoking and alcohol.
Can we prevent the development of cellulite?
The answer is yes. First, there are several factors that help to keep cellulite at bay: avoiding stress, prolonged exercise (such as gymnastics or yoga), a healthy balanced diet without excessive fats and alcohol, giving up coffee and smoking and maintaining a healthy weight (avoiding yo-yo dieting).
Second, topical cosmetic treatments based on creams and gels can facilitate lymphatic drainage and microcirculation and, in some cases, reduce the accumulation of fatty tissue.
There are also aesthetic and surgical treatments, ranging from the most innovative techniques to updated traditional approaches, among them: draining massage (lymphatic drainage), whirlpool massage, hydrotherapy, thermal therapy, pressure therapy, mesotherapy, ozone therapy, ultrasound, carboxytherapy, cavitation, vacuum therapy, liposuction, oxygen therapy, thermolipolysis, cryotherapy, electrolipolysis, electro-osmosis or virtual mesotherapy, iontophoresis, laser, etc.
So far there is no infallible single treatment that eliminates cellulite. Generally recommended, depending on the degree of development is a combination of cosmetic, aesthetic and surgical treatments, accompanied by changes aimed at developing a healthy lifestyle.