It's almost summer and I've taken my shorts and bathing suit out of storage. I'll bet you have, too. When trying them on, are your legs and hips looking smooth or are you starting to see some unevenness on the surface. If you see some unevenness, you're actually seeing the ADVANCED signs of cellulite development.
Cellulite begins within your skin long before you see it.
What is cellulite?
The yellow area in this cross-section of skin represent fat cells under your skin. The brown-grey bands are septae, which are connective tissue that anchor the skin to your muscles. Cellulite is the perfect storm of thinning skin, weakening muscles, enlarging fat cells and septae that are become less flexible and more fibrous. Sounds like symptoms of aging, right? That's because we usually see cellulite as we age. The fat cells are pushing upward as the sepate are shrinking downward toward their anchor. That's how you see the dimpling or orange peel effect.
You won't wake up one morning with orange-peel covered thighs. Its a process that happens over time. It develops in different stages;
1. Impaired circulation. When blood and lymph don't circulate well, the stage is set for the development of cellulite. At this stage you won't notice any bumpiness.
2. Fluid leaks into surrounding tissue.
At this stage blood and lymph leak from delicate vessels that get backed up, creating more pressure on blood and lymph vessels, which impairs circulation even more. You may see small veins appear at the surface of your skin; there may be tenderness in spots, or thickening of skin.
3. Fat cells swell and connective tissue harden.
Now you begin to see the beginnings of lumpiness as fat cells expand and the septae (connective tissues) shrink. This traps the fat into pockets that you can begin to see on the skin's surface.
4. The cellulite has taken over.
The blood vessels have rerouted circulation away from the areas where they can't get fluids through correctly, and so fat cannot be moved through the system normally. At this stage cellulite is very obvious and hard to treat effectively.
The warning signs - are you prone to cellulite?
Some people are more prone to cellulite than others. Women are more prone to cellulite than men becasue they develop more fat around hips and thighs for use during pregnancy and nursing. Genetics and poor lifestyle habits greatly affect the formation of cellulite. We can't control our genes, but here are some things that increase your chances of developing cellulite that you have some control over
How to know are prone to cellulite before you see it
I can tell who will be developing cellulite in the coming years. Signs include those factors above, but I can also tell by the texture of your skin, the comparatively cool temperature of the skin on the low back, hips and thighs, the emergence of little purple veins, pockets of tenderness, and diminishing tone of muscles.
Is it possible to get rid of cellulite once you have it?
Unfortunately, no. Most of the high tech options are temporary, burning fat that only comes back. Meanwhile, high tech options impair the circulation by burning circulatory vessels at the same time. Creams also have limited use; they are only temporary as well. If you want to limit cellulite, you must do the work of changing your lifestyle habits. What skin care professionals can do is help improve the factors causing the cellulite and use targeted treatments to shrink fat cells and improve circulation. During my consultation, we review your lifestyle factors, develop strategies for change, then apply targeted treatments used both in the skin care studio and at home.
There's no better time than the nice weather to begin making positive changes to your lifestyle habits, so start now. If you'd like more information on natural, healthful services for cellulite, feel free to contact me at any time.
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