Cellulite is the expression used to describe pockets of fat which are trapped and cause dimpling in the skin. This dimpling is irregular and patchy and has been identified with ‘orange peel’. 90% of post-adolescent women go on to develop cellulite at some time during their life although it is very hardly ever seen in men.
The cause for this condition is that fat pockets increase as we age. If you look at the ‘inside of the body, you will see that these fat pockets have a network of blood vessels, connective tissue and muscle around and underneath them. As the fat pockets take in nutrients form the blood system, they ‘swell’ and grow in size. But as they grow and multiply, the other networks do not expand to the same extent as the fat cells. This is what causes the cellulite to appear as the fat cells have increased to a point where the blood vessel and connective tissue networks forms a ‘net-like’ appearance between the fat cells.
The thighs, buttocks and the abdomen are the most common areas for a woman to develop cellulite. Although it is often mistaken for obesity, cellulite is not actually obesity related because it can also take place in thin lean women. Underneath the dermis and epidermis are three specific layers of fat. Cellulite tends to develop in the subcutaneous fat layers. This layer of fat is unique in its structure compared to the other layers because its fatty parts are structured into specific chambers by strands of linked tissue around it.
Hormones also help out with the storage of fat along with the body’s metabolism in the subcutaneous fat layer. Hormonal factors such as estrogen and folliculine also play a role in cellulite formation. Cellulite is for the most part found in women during their hormonal changes such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause and also whilst taking birth control pills. A woman’s hormones are usually responsible for the regulation of their blood flow, fat, connective tissue and lymphatic drainage. The fat cells between the two reserve fat layers situated under the subcutaneous fat layer dissolve into a slack network. A person’s genetic makeup predicts their fat storage and metabolism in these layers which are predisposed by diet, exercise and lifestyle.
These layers have no responsibility for cellulite forming on a person’s body. The subcutaneous fat layer in a woman is organised into large upright chambers allowing fat to be stored. In men, these chambers are organised into small slanting units. These store smaller fat quantities and are not likely to form cellulite. Cellulite’s formation is a result of complex physiological changes that occur in the subcutaneous fat layer.
Regular exercise and well balanced diets do not always reverse or prevent its formation, although an unhealthy lifestyle will make the overall appearance worse over time due to poor nutrition, weight gain and lack of sufficient water intake. With age there is a loss in the thickness and tone of the connective tissue in the superficial fat layer and the dermis.
There really is no cure for cellulite- no cream, lotion or posion can help illiminate cellulite. The only things that these and treatments like massage do, is to cause inflammation in the surrounding tissues, which makes them swell and therefore creating the illusion that the cellulite has diminishes.