Cellulite can be defined most generally as the fats accumulating irregularly and formlessly on especially the buttock and thigh areas. Although considered to be a cosmetic issue, cellulite should be taken as a problem that also has medical and psychological aspects.
Cellulite is different than being overweight, that is, obesity. There is an increase in only the fat tissues in obesity. As for cellulite, there are also structural deformations in the fat tissue and circulation. Therefore, losing weigh alone is not enough to resolve a cellulite problem. There is firstly fat accumulation in cellulite. The accumulated fats compress the veins with time, and disrupt circulation. As a result, fluid accumulates in the area, the veins cannot be nourished and deteriorations occur in their structures. This turns into a vicious cycle as the time goes by. The fat accumulation in the tissues might cause water retention and deformations in addition to the disorders of lymphatic circulation and nutritional disorders. Therefore, cellulite goes beyond an esthetic issue and becomes a medical problem.
What is Cellulite?
Cellulite, one of the skin problems that women encounter the most; causes an orange-peel like appearance on the skin surface with bumps and dents. It is considered to be a localized skin problem that usually affects the thigh, buttock and abdominal areas.
Cellulite formation is affected by a person’s lifestyle, and genetic and hormonal structure. Therefore, there is a risk of cellulite formation even in people with normal weight, or even who are underweight. Men get cellulite rarely compared to women. The reason for that is because men have way lower levels of the estrogen hormone, which has the properties of increasing fat deposition, than women.
Why Does Cellulite Occur?
Although the reason for cellulite formation is not exactly known, the opinion is that it is a result of the interaction between the subcutaneous connective tissue and fat layer. Genetic factors, unhealthy diet, smoking, hormonal changes, sedentary lifestyle and weight loss can be listed among the possible reasons for cellulite. Also, sitting down too much or wearing tight clothing are also thought to have an effect on cellulite formation.
Still, women who follow a healthy diet and exercise program and who do not have any issues in their general health can also have cellulite. The reason for that can be explained by the way the fats in the body are distributed make it prone to cellulite. Cellulite can occur due to many different factors; and almost all women encounter a cellulite issue at some point in their lives and on any parts of their body.
The cellulite formation starts with a circulatory disruption. The serum leaking from the walls of the veins due to the circulatory disruption accumulate between the tissue and cause tissue edema. The edema causes an interruption in communication between the blood and fat cells, thus disruption of the fat cell metabolism; and also causes the connective tissue structure to deteriorate and get rigid. Consequently, nodules which form from the overgrown fat tissue cells surrounded with fibrous bands which have lost their elasticity appear. And these nodules cause an orange-peel appearance on the skin surface. If the process continues to advance, the nodules stick together and form even bigger ones. There might be pain due to the pressure of the nodules on the nerves.
Cellulite; consists of a widely chambered conjunctive tissue that has become resistant, fat cell accumulations that have gotten stuck in the conjunctive tissue, water and salt molecules. Regional fat accumulation becomes apparent when the skin mobility decreases and the thickness increases. The skin gives the sensation of a hard and ragged skin when touched.
When To Perform Cellulite Treatment?
Cellulite is considered to have 3 types. Type 1 cellulite, the beginning stage of cellulite, is mostly seen in women who are overweight, and there are bumps on the skin when the area with cellulite is squeezed between the hand. The treatment for the slippery and soft looking cellulite is much easier at this stage compared to the other ones.
Type 2 cellulite is seen mostly in women, and it is triggered by stress and hormonal imbalances. This type of cellulite where the capillary vessels on the legs are visibly seen can be treated with the help of mesotherapy.
Type 3 cellulite occurs when the early stage soft tissue process progresses and nodulizes, and becomes more rigid. In addition to being treated with massages with special creams, special mesotherapy sessions and different methods, exercises that help strengthen the skin and the muscles are also needed.
Who Are Suitable For Cellulite Treatment?
Cellulite treatment can be performed; on everyone over the age of 18, except for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding and have active skin diseases on the area of application.
How is Cellulite Treatment Performed?
Many different methods are used to improve the cellulite appearance, and they all have their own results and side effects. Therefore, determining the method of treatment after making a patient-specific evaluation is crucial in terms of a successful cellulite treatment.
In the treatment of cellulite with coolsculpting; the subcutaneous fat cells are frozen and the fat cells are broken down. When the broken down fat cells are absorbed by the skin, the cellulite area appearance on the skin can be eliminated. This method should be applied for a duration of 3-4 months to obtain visible results.
In the treatment of cellulite with ultrasound, the fats in the abdomen and thighs are reduced with sound waves. There is no need for surgical intervention for a treatment that lasts for about 2-3 months.
In the treatment of cellulite with celfina, a needle is used to break the hard bands under the skin. Thus, the aim is to end the appearance of cellulite in the thighs and buttocks.
Acoustic wave therapy is also one of the methods that reduce cellulite. It is aimed to increase collagen production with acoustic wave therapy, in which the connective tissue in cellulite areas is vibrated. Thus, the skin regains its lost elasticity. At least a few sessions of application are required to see results.
In laser and radiofrequency treatments; Infrared light and diode laser energy are used in combination and tissue massage is used. Heat and suction are also among the other methods used. After laser treatment of cellulite, the hard bands under the skin are broken, but healing begins to occur at least 6 months after the treatment.
Acoustic wave treatment is another one of the cellulite reduction methods. The goal is to increase collagen production with the acoustic wave treatment where the connective tissue in the cellulite areas is vibrated. Thus, the skin is given back the elasticity that it had lost. At least several sessions should be performed to see results.
In the treatments of laser and radiofrequency; a combination of infrared light and diode laser energy is used, and tissue massage is used. Heat and suction are amongst the other methods that are used. After treating cellulite with laser, the hard bands under the skin are broken, though healings begins at least 6 months after treatment.
In the method of laser-assisted liposuction, a thin tube is inserted under the skin from a small cut made on the skin. And the fat cells are aspirated with the help of this tube. The application of the liposuction method on its own shape up the body, though it may not ensure the elimination of cellulite or the orange-peel appearance might get worse. As for laser-assisted liposuction, it provides more effective results in cellulite treatment. While the skin gets tighter in this treatment, the fat cells are destroyed as well.
In the cryolipolysis method, the lipid molecules in the regional fat cells that are found in areas in the body like the buttocks and the abdomen are frozen. Achieving a visible improvement in the skin appearance is possible gradually within two to three months.
In the treatment with carboxytherapy, carbon dioxide gas is injected into the bottom layer of the skin. Although the cellulite appearance alleviates after 7-10 sessions, there might be side effects such as discomfort and bruising after the procedure.
Mesotherapy is one of the mostly preferred cellulite treatments. At least 10 sessions of application is needed to obtain results from this method which is performed by making a small amount of injection into the mesodermal layer of the skin with microinjection method. There should be at least 5 days between sessions.
Does Cellulite Treatment Have Any Harms?
Different methods are used for cellulite treatment and each method can have some side effects of their own. However, there are no harms of the application if performed by the experts and the methods that are right for the patients are applied properly.