When fat cells build-up, they press upward against the skin layer, while the connective tissues continue pulling downward. This, unfortunately, is what generates the dimpling and irregular appearance on the skin’s surface.
Many people call this “cottage cheese skin” because of its irregular and rough texture. Cellulite can vary in its appearance, with mild cases only making only a minimal pinched appearance that’s easily concealed. More severe cellulite could cause your skin to start to fold unevenly, and develop deep cracks that resemble valleys.
Hormones and Other Factors that Lead to Cellulite Production
Hormones have already been found to play a fairly large part in the development of cellulite. Estrogen may be the most prominent hormone responsible for the formation of fatty deposits below the skin. Other hormones such as catecholamine (high stress can cause levels of catecholamine to increase), adrenaline, noradrenaline, insulin, prolactin, and some thyroid hormones can also lead to the development of fat.
Certain races also have a genetic predisposition to develop subcutaneous fat right below the skin resulting in cellulite trouble spots. Any medical problems that contribute to the deficiency in the lymphatic and circulatory system can lead to more cellulite.
Medical Treatments for Cellulite
Doctors, dermatologists, and plastic surgeons all offer medical cellulite treatments. These skin treatments can be quite expensive when compared to DIY methods of cellulite treatment. Some of these medical cellulite treatments include the following:
Light and Laser Therapies
These FDA approved treatments use a combination of massage or suction therapy along with light therapy to reduce the appearance of cellulite over a short period of time. Laser skin therapy can be expensive and cost thousands of dollars. TriActive and VelaSmooth are laser treatments that employs a combination of skin massage and skin suction through the use of a low level laser that helps to smooth the skin. Laser skin treatments for cellulite will require maintenance sessions in between sessions in order to maintain the skin’s appearance.
Mesotherapy is a treatment where drugs, vitamins, herbs and other chemicals are injected directly into the skin. There is some controversy over mesotherapy since these nutrients and chemicals are being used in a way that is not approved by the FDA. Injections are performed by a skin doctor over a period of weeks.
Collagenase is a naturally occurring enzyme in the body that breaks down the connective tissue known as collagen. Collagenase does seem to help enhance the look and feel of cellulite, although the long-term consequences of receiving collagenase treatments is not yet known. Dermatologists are not in agreement on the benefits of collagenase, so make sure you discuss this with your skin doctor or primary care physician first.
Liposuction is useful for people who are obese, but it’s not often recommended as a treatment for cellulite. This treatment uses a vacuum placed under the skin by means of tiny incisions. This vacuum then is used to draw the fat out of the body. While liposuction does remove fat, it doesn’t do well in removing the telltale marks of cellulite. Sometimes liposuction might even make the appearance of the skin look worse as it removes the cushion of fat that’s just beneath the surface of the skin.
Methylxanthine treatment is a controversial subject as there has been no clinical data that backs up its effectiveness. Methylxanthines like caffeine, theophylline, and aminophylline can target reduce fat under the skin. Although they are found in skin lotions and skin creams, they cannot deliver a therapeutic concentration of these ingredients when topically applied, at least the amount needed for a noticeable difference in visible cellulite. A physician, in order to bring about a loss of fat and a reduction of cellulite, must apply Methylxanthines in a controlled medical environment.