Cottage cheese, orange peel, hail damage. You name it, cellulite may still throw the perfectly sane into a tizzy as winter pants and coats are doffed for more revealing spring and summer styles.
It might stand to reason that in our fat-phobic culture, where even famous backsides (à la Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian) are critisized, such distinct jelly deposits are so loathed. And cellulite doesn’t only afflict the full-figured. It’s also a problem of the skinny, not to mention teenagers.
To help us get to the bottom of it all, lets look at some of the causes of these nuisance nodules.
It’s a condition that affects 90 percent of women and 10 percent of men, mostly in industrial nations. As women start approaching menopause, estrogen starts decreasing. From 25 to 35 is when you start seeing the appearance of cellulite. Estrogen has an impact on the blood vessels. When estrogen starts to decrease, you lose receptors in blood vessels and thighs, so you have decreased circulation. With decreased circulation you get less oxygen and nutrition to that area, and with that we see a decrease in collagen production…. Also, at this time fat cells start becoming larger, they begin protruding through the collagen and become the bumpy fat known as cellulite.
Cellulite is considered a solely cosmetic condition. Indeed, until recently, cellulite was not acknowledged in medical literature. Now, research has shown that changes over time in the body’s skin structure actually lead to the transformation of fat cells into cellulite.
Blood micro circulation, venous flow, and/or lymphatic drainage to the subcutaneous layers are impaired.Reduced blood circulation starves and weakens the surrounding tissue, making it more susceptible to cellulite, Reduced venous flow translates to higher fluid retention and pooling of the blood. Reduced lymphatic drainage means that lymph fluids, which normally carry waste away from the cells are trapped in the area. The septae connective tissue may begin to become more fibrous. In this stage, all the changes are not visible to the naked eye. There may not be any other symptoms, with the possible exception of cuts and bruises taking longer to heal because of the impaired circulation.
Once the circulation is lessened the capillaries and veins become weakened and leak blood into the surrounding tissue. This increases the pressure in the tissue and restricts circulation and fluid drainage even more.In this stage, you may notice thicker and more tender skin than normal. as well as discoloration or broken veins. The skin more also bruise more easily, however, there is no appearance of the lumpy cellulite bumps yet.
After a few months of lymphatic fluid build up, the fat tissues become swollen and begin to push against the outer skin, the first signs of the lumps and the “orange peel” look appear.
The static lymphatic fluid causes the fibrous septae to congeal into thicker fibers. Cells starved of oxygen and nutrients may also become incorporated into these fibers, thus adding to the fibers thickness.These fibers begin to trap and squeeze the fat cells, which press on the surrounding tissue and reduce area circulation even more. Because of the lack of circulation the skin may feel cold to the touch.
Because of the high pressure, blood circulation is re-routed around the cellulite area. Septae fibers continue to grow to an extent that the fat cells are completely trapped. Although fat continues to be stored in these cells, it is not efficiently removed through exercise or diet because of the poor circulation.
In this stage, the thick fibers, trapped fat cells and stagnant fluids form a honeycomb structure called steatomes, this causes the “cheesecake” lumps and bumps that are the hallmark of cellulite.
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