Cellulite, the majority of women have it and it is a condition that they all wish would disappear. The word cellulite is term that was conceived in France more than 150 years ago and began appearing in English language publications in the late 1960s. Contrary to popular beliefs, cellulite is not a medical term.
The use of the term cellulite began to take life when in 1973 a book was published called. Cellulite: Those Lumps, Bumps and Bulges You Couldn’t Lose Before. It was written by Nicole Ronsard, a woman who owned a beauty salon who’s specialty was in body and skin care.
What is Cellulite?
The question most people ask is what exactly is cellulite? To truly understand this skin condition you need to understand what it is comprised of. Cellulite is known as regular fat that has gone haywire. It is a combination of water, fact and toxic waste that the body is unable to eliminate. It begins to show when the fat that is deposited in pockets in the subcutaneous level of skin tissue.
The Fat cells are arranged in chambers surrounded by bands of connective tissue called septae. As water is retained, fat cells held within the perimeters of this area expand and stretch the connective tissue. Eventually this connective tissue contracts and hardens (sclerosis) holding the skin at a non-flexible length, while the surrounding tissue continues to expand with weight, or water gain. This results in areas of the skin being held down while other sections bulge outward, resulting in the lumpy, ‘cottage-cheese’ appearance.
It occurs around the hips, thighs, and buttocks. Because it is very close to the surface of the skin, cellulite leads to a dimpled appearance. Cellulite commonly appears on the hips, buttocks and legs, but is not caused by being overweight, as many believe.
Cellulite visually makes the skin look dimpled and uneven; hence the association of cellulite with terms such as cottage cheese, orange peel skin and mattress skin. Cellulite actually is fatty tissue under the skin. The skin has many strands of fibrous tissue that connect to
Medical authorities agree that cellulite is simply ordinary fatty tissue. Strands of fibrous tissue connect the skin to deeper tissue layers and also separate compartments that contain fat cells. When fat cells increase in size, these compartments bulge and produce a waffled appearance of the skin.
Many years ago, Neil Solomon, M.D., conducted a double-blind study of 100 people to see whether cellulite differed from ordinary fat. Specimens of regular fat and lumpy fat were obtained by a needle biopsy procedure and given to pathologists for analysis and comparison. No difference between the two was found.
What Causes Cellulite?
No one knows exactly what causes cellulite. Researchers have tried to determine the exact cause, but overall the verdict is still out as to what causes the condition. Many researchers and doctors have come up with differentiating theories as to what causes cellulite. Some have said that stress
stress, and diet as potential causes, or at least aggravators.
- Consumption of large amounts of foods containing toxins i.e. fried foods, alcohol, caffeine which overwhelms the body’s ability to eliminate them
- Poor blood circulation which may be hereditary, due to lack of exercise or stress related
- Genetics and hereditary factors
- Poor lymphatic drainage due to lack of activity or inadequate water intake
- Age due to the fact that the condition and elasticity of the skin declines as we get older
How Does Cellulite Develop?
Many people want to know how does cellulite develop? Cellulite does not appear in all women as they go through puberty, it goes through various different stages and in each stage the look of cellulite will be mild or serious. There are 5 main stages that leads to the development of the condition.
Cellulite will develop in 5 different stages, these are:
In this first stage blood that flows from arterioles to capillaries or sinusoids to venules (called venous flow) and lymphatic drainage to the subcutaneous layer is degraded.
The reduction in venous flow will cause the tissue in that region to weaken. As a result of this there will be an increase in fluid retention and an accumulation of blood. The reduction in lymphatic drainage will mean that the lymph fluids that are responsible for carrying the waste away from the cells will be trapped in that region. The septae connective tissue may begin to become more fibrous.
In this stage, all of the changes are not visible to the naked eye. There may not be any other symptoms, with the possible exception of cuts and bruises taking longer to heal because of the impaired circulation.
Once the venous flow has been reduced the veins and capillaries become weak and this results in blood leaking into the surrounding tissue. Once this begins to happen, there will be an increase of pressure on the tissue that has been affected by the leaking blood. This will lead to less circulation and fluid drainage.
During this time, the skin will become tender and thicker. It will also bruise easily and the discoloration will begin. The discoloration is a result of broken veins. During stage two their will be no appearance of cellulite.
After a prolonged period where there has been an accumulation of lymphatic fluid build up, then the fat tissue will become swollen and begin to push against the outer skin. It is in stage three that you will begin to see signs of cellulite on affected areas of the body.
The lymphatic fluid that has been building up from stage three has now caused a different reaction in the body. The fluid has now caused fibrous septae to congeal into thicker fibers. Cells starved of oxygen and nutrients may also become incorporated into these fibers, thus adding to the fibers’ thickness
These fibers begin to trap and squeeze the fat cells, which press on the surrounding tissue and reduce even more circulation in the area. Because of the lack of circulation, the skin may feel cold to the touch.
Because of the high pressure, blood circulation is re-routed around the cellulite area. Septae fibers continue to grow to an extent that the fat cells are completely trapped. Although fat continues to be stored in these cells, it is not efficiently removed from it (through exercise or diet) because of the poor circulation.
In this stage, the thick fibers, trapped fat cells, and stagnant fluids form a huge honeycomb structure called steatomes. This causes large lumps and bumps that are the hallmarks of cellulite.
The Visual Stages of Cellulite?
Cellulite appears differently in different women. This is the visual……….
It appears in four different grades.
No clinical symptoms, but histopathology detects underlying anatomical changes.
During this stage the skin will begin to look colorless. , lower temperature, and decreased elasticity after compression or muscular contraction. There is no visible “orange peel” roughness to the skin. Additional anatomical changes are detected by histopatholgy.
It is during Grade 3 that you will begin to see the looks of cellulite on the body. Visible “orange peel” roughness to the skin is visible at rest. This is the “canonical” grade of cellulite. Thin granulations in the deep levels of the skin can be detected by palpatation. All Grade 2 signs are present, with further anatomical changes are detectable by histopathology.
All Grade 3 symptoms are present, with more visible, palpable, and painful lumps present which adheare to deep structures in the skin. The skin has a noticeable dimpled, wavy appearance. Additional histopathologic changes are detected.
Who Gets Cellulite?
Popular belief has it that only overweight women are the ones who suffer from the condition cellulite. This is far from the truth as cellulite affects up to 90% of women across the globe. The size of the woman does not matter when it comes to cellulite, women who are extremely athletic or slim have very visible cellulite.
If you feel self-conscious about it, you’re not alone. At least 85 percent of women (the slender as well as the plump) develop cellulite, usually by their 30s. It shows up mostly in the hips, buttocks, and thighs because that’s where fat tends to accumulate on women’s bodies.
It is an equal opportunity condition that affects women of all races across the world. It however is more common in white females than Asian females.
Cellulite in Men
Men, even obese men are rarely affected by cellulite. This is due to the fact that the fat storage chambers in the subcutaneous fat layers of males are arranged in much smaller, diagonal units. This means that the chambers will store smaller amounts of fat and this will less likely help with the development of cellulite.
For cellulite to appear in men, it is usually those who have some type of hormone deficiency. This is often called an androgen deficient state and it appears in conditions such as hypogonadism and Klinefelter’s syndrome. Androgen-deficient state also is seen in post-castration states and in me who are receiving estrogen therapy for prostate cancer. The cellulite becomes more severe as the androgen deficiency worsens in these males.
What Age do we get Cellulite?
As stated above cellulite usually starts affecting women who are post pubescent. It can develop from a woman is 17-18, depending if the hormones in their body decide to behave erratically. Cellulite has partly been attributed to a drastic change of hormones and this usually occurs during puberty and pregnancy. Many women complain of cellulite being worse after they have had children.