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Cellulite is the name given to the lumpy, irregular fat deposits often found around the hips, buttocks and upper leg areas. It is sometimes described as `orange peel skin` because of the dimpled appearance of the affected areas.
It appears in 90% of post-adolescent women, even those who put a lot of effort into keeping their bodies slim and well toned, but is rarely seen in men.
It occurs because a large number of women`s fat cells are located in pockets within the connective tissue of the skin. Over time, a build up of fluids and fat, along with a reduction in blood supply, can cause the pockets to bulge and press against the connective tissues, creating the external `orange peel` effect on the skin.
Along with a good diet and exercise, which can help in the early stages of cellulite formation, there are many different treatments that have been claimed to reduce the appearance of cellulite:
Creams and gels form the bulk of cellulite treatments that are marketed. Many of these contain ingredients that have been shown to stimulate metabolism of fat in laboratory experiments, but none have been clinically proven to have a significant or long lasting effect in studies on patients.
Body wrapping involves a process of enveloping parts of the body with linens permeated with a variety of substances such as herbal extracts, algae, seaweed, and mud. The skin is brushed or massaged evenly with any one of these products and then covered in linens. The body shaping effect is the result of the combined action of perspiration and compression, which leads to a reduction of body dimensions. This effect is mainly due to the loss of fluids and is only temporary. These wraps are generally beneficial for relaxation, as well as softening the skin, but they do not reduce cellulite.
Massage increases circulation and lymphatic drainage, reduces muscular spasms and breaks down adhesions. Lymphatic drainage is a specific massage, which removes accumulated fluid but has little effect on cellulite. The main problems with manual massage are the different techniques and levels of pressure employed by therapists, which are virtually impossible to standardise.
Herbal preparations were introduced in the 1990s for the treatment of cellulite. Key ingredients in cellulite pills include a blend of herbal extracts as well as non-herbal substances. These products are not subject to medical review, and their ingredients and effects have not yet been scientifically proven.
So are there any safe alternatives? Well although there are currently no clinically proven treatments that permanently remove fat and reduce the appearance of cellulite, there are other treatments options not mentioned above that do appear to offer a visible improvement that are gaining in popularity.
Cellulite is often referred to as looking like “orange peel” on the skin. Endermologie® is the world’s first patented mechanical cellulite treatment technology to be approved by the FDA.
Lipotherapy or Injection Lipolysis treatment involves the use of an injectable solution to break down stubborn areas of fat, which are then eliminated through the body`s own lymphatic system. Products include Aqualyx.
No-needle mesotherapy (e.g. Eporex™ & Acthyderm®) seek to encourage the penetration of topically applied active ingredients through the skin using mild electric currents to treat ageing & reduce fat.
RF energy is able to penetrate deep into the skin causing tissue tightening, heating of fat cells and increased blood circulation for body contouring, fat and cellulite reduction treatments.