Cellulite: what you need to know

What is cellulite?
Cellulite is normal fat that has become surrounded and condensed into tight compartments by fibrous tissue. This creates the dimpling effect.


How common is cellulite?
Cellulite is very common amongst our patients. At 23MD we estimate that to affect at least 85% of women complain about cellulite.


What causes cellulite?
There are several contributors to cellulite, including unbalance hormone levels like high oestrogen or low testosterone, poor diets high in carbohydrate,  poor circulation, smoking and simply genetics.


How do we help reduce cellulite at 23MD?

We advise a multi-treatment approach, with all treatments using massaging techniques to help with lymphatic drainage as well

  1. Devices

These deliver energy to break down fat and fibrous tissue to so the body can eliminate it through its natural detoxification process. At 23MD, we advise a combination of treatments utilising more than one type of energy to break down fibrous tissue and fat to optimise outcome.

  1. Exilis® Ultra 360 uses radiofrequency and laser energy to produce a gentle heat that breaks down the fat cells, as well as contracts tissue below the skin’s surface to promote skin tightening.
  2. Coolsculpting® on the other hand, reduces cellulite by freezing fat cells, using a method called Cryolipolysis. Since fat cells are more sensitive to cooling than skin cells, these treatments damage the fat cells while leaving the skin intact. The frozen fat cells die and the inflammation triggered allows the body to carry away the damaged cells through the lymphatic system.The reduction in the fat cells and reduced pressure inside the fat compartments,  produces less dimpling overall.
  3. Ultherapy®. – although not licensed for this, Ulthera is another very effective add-on treatment to help smooth and tighten skin. This uses ultrasound energy, and continues to be the treatment that patients come into my office requesting for skin lifting and tightening
  4. Non-invasive injectionsMesotherapy, also called Lipodissolve, is a fat-removal process that was invented in 1952 by Dr. Michel Pistor. It uses a series of injections delivered into the area between the dermis and subcutaneous layers of skin to dissolve fat, including cellulite. The injections contain combinations of medications, botanicals, vitamins and/or minerals to treat fat deposits. The most commonly used ingredients include phosphatidylcholine, deoxycholate, aminophylline and L-carnitine, along with other extracts, vitamins and minerals.Once the cocktail is delivered into the area, the fat cell walls are broken down and turned into liquid that can be easily removed by the body. Again, in combination with exilis and Coolsculpting, this results in an overall reduction in the number of fat cells and fibrous bands to gradually reduce the dimpling effects of cellulite,
  5. Hormone Re-BalancingOur hormones play a huge role in our health and appearance. Their levels change with age, environmental exposure, and stress levels.
  • Estrogen may be partially responsible for the appearance of cellulite on the skin. Estrogen serves to weaken the septa, causing the “lumpy” appearance. Estrogen may also promote increased storage of fat cells. A phenomenon called estrogen dominance, which is often categorized by PMS and other extreme fluctuations during the menstrual cycle, may also increase cellulite. It is possible to use another natural hormone, progesterone to combat some  effects of oestrogen. However, progesterone is not considered a cure for cellulite.
  • Measure and boost our testosterone level, not just because too little can promote fat deposition, but because too much estrogen in relation to testosterone can lower thyroid hormone, which in turn, may worsen cellulite.
  • Boost your thyroid hormones, as these play a key role in metabolism, and can therefore affect fat storage and cellulite. Try to avoid foods that may trigger adrenal stress, such as caffeine, since these foods may disturb normal thyroid levels. Also seek a healthy hormonal balance of progesterone and estrogen, since Finally, take supplements that may enhance thyroid production, such as selenium, folic acid and iodine, reports
  • Check for insulin resistance. This occurs when the body response to normal levels of insun is reduced, and can pre-dispose to diabetes. By checking your fastinglevles of insulin and glucose, we can get an idea how much insulin you need to make to keep your body sugar level even.



How can you reduce Cellulite yourself?

  1. Topicals– Topical products and tools assist in the reduction of cellulite, but expectations need to be realistic. Massaging these into the skin can improve the results.
  2. Vitamins A and C are two of the most commonly used ingredients in skin care, as well as in cellulite creams due to their antioxidant properties and their ability to support collagen synthesis. Antioxidants fight off harmful free radicals that can break down collagen. This, along with the rebuilding of collagen, allows for optimal skin tightening.
  3. Caffeine is likely the most commonly used ingredient in topical cellulite products. It dehydrates the area for a temporarily smooth appearance but also plays a role in cellulite reduction by enhancing fat metabolism.
  4. Dry Brushing is another topical method to reduce cellulite and eliminate the build-up of toxins, however, it must be done correctly. Brushing movements should be circular and always in the direction of lymphatic flow, as our lymphatic system is responsible for removing contaminants in the body. The use of a plastic, silicone or wooden hand-held massager with protruding fingers are also commonly used to breakdown the cellulite trapped in the between the layers of skin. Try at least 10 minutes daily for best results
  5. Massage may reduce cellulite by improving lymphatic drainage, blood circulation and stretching out cellulite dimples. Because cellulite is caused by many factors, massage alone does not usually deliver consistent and repeatable results. However if the massage is performed alongside other treatments such as radio frequency, cryotherapy ect it may enhance the treatment results
  6. Lifestyle Changes Cellulite is usually the last bit of fat the body releases since it is surrounded by stubborn fibrous tissue. Therefore, even with treatment, a consistently healthy lifestyle is a must to prevent cellulite from occurring or recurring.
  7. A balanced low-fat high-fiber diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables is key to eliminating excess fat. Avoiding excess refined sugars, fats, and carbohydrates, which can easily be stored as fat is also necessary. Additionally, lecithin-rich foods like soy, eggs, and spinach help strengthen cell walls, improving the appearance of cellulite. Drinking plenty of water will help keep the body in a healthy state and promotes natural elimination of toxins from the body
  8. Consistent exercise is another way of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and preventing and/or reducing cellulite. It is most often recommended to workout at least three to four times a week, including both cardio and strength training for cellulite reduction. At the very least, using HIIT routines for 20 minutes daily three days a week will improve circulation, increase growth hormone, and fight the build-up of fat.
  9. Another part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is to eliminate avoidable toxins. Smoking is a prime example of a product that increase toxins and causes asphyxiation, which in turn slows down proper circulation leading to more pronounced cellulite.

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