If you have cellulite, you’re probably frustrated by its lumpy, cottage-cheese texture that won’t go away, no matter how much weight you lose or how many miracles creams you rub in. But if you’re thinking about cellulite as a fat problem, you’re approaching it all wrong. Cellulite is actually an inherited condition of the skin that can’t melt away through dieting and exercise.
So, What Is Cellulite, Exactly?
When thinking about cellulite, think about a tufted sofa: The buttons pull downward through the backward to the back of the pillow or couch, creating fluffy tufts of fabric and stuffing. Cellulite is formed the same way. Thick, tough bands of tissue called septae connect the underside of you skin with your muscles, pulling through the fat layer, creating little “tufts” of fat.
If you wanted to undo the tufts on your tufted sofa, you’d have to loosen or cut the threads that pull down through the stuffing. With cellulite, you have to the same.
Why’d I Get Cellulite Anyway?
Researchers aren’t really sure why cellulite develops. However, about 80% to 90% of women over the age of 21 develop cellulite, while only 10% of men do. Hormones seem to be the culprit here, as increased levels of estrogen also increase the possibility that you’ll develop cellulite.
Some researchers postulate that cellulite has a human-race survival-related function. Because women tend to accumulate cellulite around their hips and thighs, it could be that cellulite’s tufts are nature’s way of preserving pockets of fat for a potential baby. However, this is just a theory. Whatever the reason women develop cellulite, you’re more likely to have it if your mother had it, too.
Other researchers have put forth the notion that cellulite develops as a result of poor diet, lack of exercise, or exposure to environmental toxins. Again, no evidence supports these theories, but certainly getting more exercise, adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, drinking more hydrating water, and avoiding toxins is good health and beauty advice, whether you have cellulite or not.
Cellulite also becomes more visible as you age. That’s because your skin thins out and loses collagen, making the tufts more apparent.
What Doesn’t Work
Treating cellulite often takes you down a long road of frustration because you’re trying to remedy the effect rather than the cause. Losing weight through diet and exercise can actually exacerbate the look of cellulite, because you lose a cushioning layer of fat. While liposuction and other fat-removal and body-contouring techniques can remove fatty bulges, they don’t address the fibrous bands of collagen and tissue that cause the cellulite tufts.
Various kinds of massage and dry brushing may give you a short-term improvement, as manipulation can slightly soften the fibrous bands. But the bands are still there and so is the cellulite. If you want to get rid of the tufts, you have to sever or soften the “threads” that form them.
Improve Your Skin, Improve Your Cellulite
The only way to improve cellulite over the long term is to address the real issue, which is the quality of your skin. You can cut the fibrous bands that pull your skin down toward the muscle or soften them so that they’re looser. Some cellulite treatments use needles with or without radiofrequency to cut apart the bands. However, results are less than spectacular and may leave you frustrated that your skin looks wavy and even looser or older.
Dr. Julio Garcia, a double-board certified expert dermatologist in Las Vegas, believes that the best way to improve cellulite is to improve the quality of your skin and thicken it with rich, new collagen and elastin. He uses laser toning to heat up and soften the deep layers of your skin, plus revitalize your skin by triggering it to produce more collagen. Dr. Garcia prefers the Medlite Q-switched Nd:YAG laser to rejuvenate your skin and improve the look of cellulite on your:
How Laser Therapy Helps Your Skin
The Medlite laser sends energy into the deep layers of your dermis, where the heat creates microwounds. These tiny wounds signal your body that your skin needs to be repaired. As your body floods the area with fresh blood, rich with growth factors and cytokines, your collagen builds itself anew, creating long, strong strands that support your skin. Your skin also produces new elastin, which makes your skin stretchy and snappy, like it was when you were young.
By thickening your skin and softening the septae, the look of your cellulite is reduced. Your skin looks younger, softer, smoother, and is more resilient. The cellulite is still there, but it’s not as noticeable.
Rounding Things Out
If you have cellulite on your buttocks, Dr. Garcia can also help improve its appearance by creating a mini Brazilian Butt Lift using either fat grafts or dilute injections of Sculptra Aesthetic dermal filler. The fat grafts can be taken from areas of excess fat, such as your love hands or muffin top. You can add your mini BBL to a regular liposuction procedure. Adding volume under your skin with fat or fillers helps smooth your contours, making your buttocks look more beautiful and uniform.
Making Peace With Your Tufts
Though cellulite can be improved by improving your skin, it’s a genetic condition that you’ll probably have to live with. Don’t blame yourself if you don’t look like a photoshopped model when you don a bikini. Remember that cellulite is caused by septae, and isn’t due to laziness or too many ice-cream cones.
Improve your body where you can, keep your skin as healthy and strong as possible with regular laser treatments, and forgive yourself your flaws! While you can’t completely eliminate cellulite, you might be considering liposuction in Las Vegas to get rid of large, fatty bulges. Dr. Garcia uses liposuction and ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty to remove:
- Hip fat
- Flank fat
- Abdominal fat
- Thigh fat
- Arm fat
He also reshapes your figure with surgical procedures, when needed. He can firm up your abdominal muscles and area with a tummy tuck, get rid of bagging arm fat with an arm lift, and restore your breasts to a perkier, more youthful position with a breast lift.
And finally, remember that most women battle cellulite, too, just as you do. Choose clothing that flatters you and makes you feel confident, or even get a spray tan to camouflage your tufts.
Whether you have cellulite or not, if you're considering liposuction in Las Vegas or have other aesthetic concerns about your body or face, Dr. Garcia is happy to help. He can be reached for consultations by calling his friendly office team or using the online booking form.