With all those cellulite treatments out there in the market, it can be tough to know which ones actually work. Of course, the key is to understand the science behind cellulite.
The medical term for cellulite is gynoid lipodystrophy. While many perceive it to be too much fat, but it can be seen even on healthy and athletic people. In fact, cellulite is caused by the fat pushing up to the skin and producing a dimpled appearance. There are a few theories as to why this happens, but most recent studies point to it being related to hormone levels in the body.
Because cellulite is seen more often in women than in men, it has been hypothesized that the female hormone estrogen plays a part in cellulite production. Basically, estrogen is responsible for stimulating fibroblasts in producing collagenase. In turn, it breaks down collagen. When there are no collagen fibers, the fat cells are not anymore packed tightly into groups. They move up and become enlarged, creating those unsightly dimples. Unfortunately, these fat cells continue to form new adipocytes or more fat cells, which is why some women end up having excess cellulite.
The various treatments for cellulite try to stop it in various stages, whether from the production of fat or the loss of collagen.
This is a group of chemicals, including caffeine and aminophylline, that is used in cellulite creams. Their purpose is to break down the body’s fat stores. However, it is questionable whether they deliver enough of these chemicals to lead to sufficient fat breakdown and cellulite loss.
There are many massage treatments out there that have been used for years to reduce the appearance of cellulite. One of these is called Endermologie, where an electronic device is used to massage areas of the body with cellulite. However, though it is successful in reducing the appearance of cellulite, it basically just redistributes your fat and not really changes its configuration. This type of treatment should be done regularly to avoid the cellulite from returning again.
- Laser or Light Treatments
In addition to massage, the use of light or laser therapies aims to reduce cellulite appearance. However, in order to keep the smoother skin, regular visits are needed.
Special diets have emerged that have claimed to be able to treat cellulite. While there are no studies to really prove its effectiveness, it is still believed that maintaining a balanced diet can make your skin look suppler and healthier.
- Body Wraps
Salons may sometimes offer body wraps claiming to reduce cellulite. While they may make the skin tighter and smoother, it has not been proven successful by scientists.
- Radiofrequency Treatments
This therapy involves conducting an electrical current into your tissues, eventually leading to new collagen production. This, in turn, makes your skin look smoother.
There needs to be more research to finally be clear how the body produces cellulite and which treatments actually work. Until then, treatments will only work on reducing the dimples on your thighs and not really addressing the root cause.