Cellulite is also known as gynoid lipodystrophy. It is characterised by orange peel, cottage cheese-type, or mattress appearance dimpling of the skin, seen most commonly on thighs and buttocks and abdomen. cellulite is accompanied by structural changes in the dermis, fat layer and microcirculation
Cellulite affects 85-98% of women after puberty. There appears to be a hormonal component to its presentation. It is rarely seen in males and almost ubiquitous in post-pubertal women.
The pathophysiological causes of cellulite are not completely understood, but the structural, morphological and biochemical abnormalities of adipose tissue, hormones, microcirculatory disorders, obesity, stress, ageing, genetic, post-inflammatory alteration, and lifestyle. As an etymology, cellulite can be defined as a localized metabolic disease of the subcutaneous tissue that affects a woman’s body.
Cellulite can be classified in four different grades, depending on its severity
When the skin is pinched, you can see an orange peel effect appear. However, when you stand or lay down, it is not visible
When you stand cellulite is visible, but disappears when you lay down
Cellulite is visible when standing or laying down
An effective and long‐term treatment of cellulite has not been well established. There are numerous therapies that have been advertised and employed to treat cellulite.
Topical agents, combined with vigorous massage, were the earliest attempts to treat cellulite. As with all topical treatments, the main challenge of these therapies is for the active ingredients to reach their target in sufficient concentration to have a therapeutic effect. Methylxanthines (aminophylline, theophylline, and caffeine) and retinoids have been the most extensively evaluated ingredients used in topical formulations for cellulite.
Methylxanthines are hypothesized to improve cellulite by stimulating lipolysis and inhibiting the enzyme phosphodiesterase, which increases the concentration of cyclic adenosine monophosphate. Retinoids, on the other hand, are thought to reduce cellulite by increasing dermal thickness, increasing angiogenesis, synthesizing new connective tissue components, and increasing the number of active fibroblasts. For both agents, there have been several peer-reviewed publications with promising data, but the studies have been small with no long-term follow-up. Overall, certain formulations can improve collagen production and reduce skin laxity, but they are rarely effective on cellulite, which requires extensive fat, collagen, and connective tissue remodeling
Energy-based devices that harness power from various sources such as lasers, light, radiofrequency (RF), and acoustic waves have been extensively tested for the treatment of localized adiposities and/or skin laxity.
- Radiofrequency: RF devices deliver thermal energy to the dermal/subcutaneous plane via electrode(s). By elevating the tissue temperature at the target area, collagen denaturation, remodeling and neocollagenesis is stimulated, but lipolysis is also triggered. The latest generation of RF devices have been studied and shown to be effective in clinical trials to reduce the appearance of cellulite. Specifically, Velasmooth of Velashape 3 systems (Syneron Medical, Israel) that combine infrared light, bipolar RF, and mechanical manipulation of the skin with suction and massage have been shown to reduce cellulite.
- Laser and light: Laser and light devices, depending on their wavelength, emit energy to the dermis/subcutaneous plane; by heating the local tissue they can stimulate collagen remodeling and increase microcirculation, which can improve the appearance of cellulite. The impact of these devices is not very substantial in terms of adipolysis or even disruption of the fibrous septa that characterize cellulite, but they can improve the appearance of the skin and smooth the surface.
- Acoustic wave therapy: Acoustic wave therapy (AWT) is another energy-based therapy, whereby pressure waves are transmitted to the subcutaneous tissue and promote lipolysis, improve local blood flow, enable lymphatic drainage, and stimulate the production of new collagen.
Manual subcision has also been evaluated for the treatment of cellulite. During this procedure, the areas are numbed with a topical anesthetic agent, a needle is inserted under the skin, and a fanning technique is used to release the fibrous cords of cellulite. Although efficacious, the main drawbacks of this treatment are the side effects, including edema, discomfort, pain, and bruising
Among minimally invasive procedures for cellulite, active biologic agents and dermal fillers have been used to treat cellulite.
- Dermal fillers: Another up-to-date option to treat cellulite is the new generation dermal fillers injections, such as calcium hydroxyapatite and poly-l-lactic acid microspheres. These fillers have been used extensively to treat scars and can also be applied to smoothen the cellulite-induced skin irregularities.
Topical agents, energy-based devices and injectable treatments, can ameliorate the appearance of cellulite, sometimes to a satisfactory degree. So if you’re looking to get started on working on that summer body, it’s best to start with getting rid of the cellulite. To get things started book now your initial consultation at vivAllure Port Melbourne and achieve best possible results