By Dr Kiran Lohia, MD
Have you ever looked in a mirror in your bathing suit and realized that your thighs look like cottage cheese? You're not alone. Cellulite is a condition affects almost 90% of women, and sometimes even men! Dermatologists and Cosmetologists around the world are answering the same questions over and over again; what causes cellulite and how does one get rid of it? Luckily, I have the answers for you, so read on to get a dermatologist's guide to cellulite!
What is cellulite?
Cellulite is the weakening of connective tissue, allowing lumps of fat to push through the lattice of collagen and elastin. This results in that bumpy, uneven look. Cellulite is graded by its severity. Grade I cellulite is essentially invisible, but if you take a skin biopsy, then the connective tissue breakdown can be clearly seen. In Grade II, the texture becomes more uneven, the color becomes more variable and the elasticity decreases. Grade III cellulite is when the skin takes on that cottage cheese look, making it lumpy and bumpy in all lighting.
Why does it happen?
Cellulite is genetic, which means it travels in families. Connective tissue that is genetically weak, will continue to be weak throughout generations. Cellulite is also caused or worsened by your lifestyle. Fad diets, rapid weight increases or decreases, pregnancy, lack of exercise and even dehydration are implicated in this common issue.
What lifestyle changes can improve cellulite?
Simple ways to eradicate cellulite include both lifestyle changes and treatments. First things first, definitely start an exercise routine. The more you exercise, the more you strengthen your muscles, thereby improving skin tone and texture. Exercise at least five to six times a week for a minimum of 45-60 minutes each time. Also, increase your physical activity! Walk up and down stairs, walk around the office, stand any chance you get, and basically stop sitting down all day. Also, make sure you stay hydrated! The more water you drink, the better your skin will look. Finally, eat lots of healthy fruits, vegetables and protein, and stay away from refined sugars!
What creams or treatments help?
There are no creams that can actually improve cellulite for the long term. Sometimes caffeine or other tightening agents can temporarily make skin look tighter, but the result disappear in hours. The only solution is to undertake treatments that increase collagen and connective tissue so that fat cannot push through. Treatments such as Ulthera are the ultimate in getting rid of cellulite and can be done even once for results that last for years. This is because Ulthera specifically targets the deepest layer of the skin where collagen can be created, hence giving long-lasting and miraculous results. Other options include US FDA Approved Accent Ultra, which requires 6-8 sessions, and combines MegaHertz and Ultrasound technology for dual fat blasting and skin tightening.
Luckily cellulite is now a treatable and preventable condition. So get started on your path to tighter and cellulite-free skin!
Dr. Kiran Lohia, MD is an American Board certified Dermatologist, a Columbia University graduate and Medical Director of Lumiere Dermatology, New Delhi. Named the best dermatologist in India by Elle Magazine, she is widely renowned as the top skin specialist in Delhi.