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Cellulite and Liposuction

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Cellulite Lipo - Does it Really Work?...

Author: Letty's Staff Writer

Before we can discuss cellulite and liposuction we first have to understand exactly what cellulite is.

What's that you say?...

It's just the ugly fat you don't want on your butt, or its just the cottage cheese thighs that plague you.

Not that much to it.

Well, we discovered that there is a little more to cellulite than that. To truly understand the nature of the problem that cellulite presents – you have to understand what it is and what causes it.

What is Cellulite?

Cellulite is a very natural occurrence of fat that concentrates mostly below the waistline.

The troubling aspect to cellulite is invariably its appearance. Uneven fatty deposits characterized by a dimpled, lumpy topography is how cellulite shows its presence. And where is this fat typically located?... Thighs, hips and buttocks are where cellulite typically appears.

Cellulite and liposuction...

Cellulite forms in discrete chambers just under the skin.

So they are very superficial to the skin and show quite easily as an overall skin texturizer. The chambers are also separated by fibrous collagen septa – that have the effect of creating individual pockets. So for instance -as you gain weight these individual chambers expand creating a quilted effect visible on the skin.

For obese individuals these chambers are super stuffed with fat and bulge and pit the skin even more prominently.

Why is Cellulite Different from other kinds of fat?

Cellulite is a normal and harmless process.

What makes it different from other kinds of fat is that it is present in women and not men typically. In fact research shows that over 95% of adult women worldwide have cellulite.

Estrogen and to a lesser extent progesterone play a huge role in the formation of cellulite.

The presence of estrogen triggers the storage of fat in general used for nursing children, pregnancy and menstruation. Progesterone weakens the veins and causes women to retain water which can contribute to the appearance of cellulite.

Why is cellulite so difficult to treat?

Cellulite is difficult to treat because it is in large part genetically predetermined. Being female and having female hormones predisposes you to this condition. And there is no treatment for curing female-ness.

Why don't men get cellulite?

Do men have to worry about cellulite and liposuction as a cure?...

Unfair to say.. but not so much. Again cellulite is mostly a women's issue.

Men just don't have the excess of female hormones that drive this phenomenon for women. Men also generally tend to accumulate fat in the abdominal area (rather than the hips, buttocks and thighs as in women). And the fat that men gain is typically packed into smaller chambers that are more tightly held together by the surrounding collagen.

Finally men have a significantly thicker dermis which tends to smooth-out the surface appearance of the skin and the fat underneath.

What are some of the treatments for cellulite?

The most popular treatments for cellulite involve: exercise, dieting, massage, herbal supplementation, lotions, and surgery (cellulite and liposuction). I will briefly describe the benefits of each one:

  1. Exercise – exercise addresses cellulite by reducing subcutaneous fat, and increasing muscle tone. If you can diminish the ridges and strengthen the valleys of cellulite areas this will improve its appearance. This will help with the appearance of all fat and may specifically help to diminish the look of cellulite in particular.

  2. Dieting – By eating a low-fat, low-salt, high fiber, anti-oxidant rich diet you will help decrease the fat storage of the body that can exacerbate cellulite. In addition you will be strengthening collagen production in the skin which has the tendency to make it firmer, and diminish the lumpy appearance of cellulite.
  3. Massage – There is some controversy about the effectiveness of massage-type treatments for cellulite. Although it may not decrease cellulite – massages can help to promote lymphatic drainage of toxins that can age skin, and it can also improve circulation which will nourish skin and improving its overall health.
  4. Herbal Supplementation – Many herbal products on the market claim to treat for cellulite. Though to-date none have been proven effective for the treatment of cellulite – some herbal supplements and vitamins do have a nourishing or anti-oxidant benefit to the skin. Vitamin C, cranberry, grape seed extract, and many more do provide the collagen of skin protection against free-radical damage. Collagen does help to provide the elasticity to skin – which will be of great benefit when you do lose weight. The skin will be able to snap back into a smooth configuration.
  5. Lotion and Creams – Lotion may be great to help you increase the moisture content of the very superficial layers of skin. But there is no lotion or cream that will penetrate the dermis and then the fatty layer just superficial to the skin and somehow or other diminish those chambers of fat the cause the appearance of fat. Use lotions to moisturize and groom the skin – it will not change the dynamic of cellulite.
  6. Liposuction Surgery – This is where we discuss cellulite and liposuction - the effectiveness of liposuction in the treatment of cellulite. Liposuction can reduce the number of fat cells in a given area, and that removed fat can be used to contour the dimpling, quilted appearance of cellulite. However, cellulite and liposuction for it - is a temporary solution at best. Without diet and exercise cellulite can – and most likely will – reoccur.

What are the best treatments for cellulite?

Of all the treatments/solutions to address cellulite – the very best overall solution ultimately involves lifestyle changes through diet and exercising. Hands down – it is the best way to stop the storage of fat underneath the skin, and to decrease the amount of fat currently in those areas.

Cellulite and Liposuction - Can liposuction effectively treat cellulite?

Liposuction is not guaranteed to reduce the appearance of cellulite. In some individuals it may improve the appearance of cellulite – but those results will at best be temporary especially if lifestyle changes aren't undertaken.

What is the take-home here?

If you have cellulite and liposuction is the only option you are considering to address it... you may be missing the boat.

The bottom line is that as long as caloric in-take exceeds expenditure of calories through physical movement and exercise your body will store that difference in energy as fat. For women we are predisposed to have that fat stored in the thighs, hips and buttocks. And most likely it will appear in the form of cellulite. Anything short of lifestyle changes – whether it be lotion, potions, magic pills, or surgery is most likely not going to do the trick.

Accept your bodily flaws and work to improve your overall fitness and health.

This is a MUST Listen:

"Cashing in on Cellulite..." on National Public Radio

Cellulite and Liposuction References:

  • "Cellulite." Mai Tran. and Teresa G. Odle. The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. Ed. Laurie Fundukian. 3rd ed. Detroit: Gale, 2009. 4 vols.

  • Venkataram, Jayashree. "Tumescent liposuction: A review." Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery 1.2 (2008): 49. Expanded Academic ASAP. Web. 23 Jan. 2010.

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