Cellulite, also known as orange peel due to the appearance it gives to the skin, can affect both sexes, but is more common in women, due to the different distribution of layers of fat, muscle and connective tissue.
Being a problem so frequently encountered, over time more or less true opinions have been circulated about the causes that lead to its occurrence and the methods of treatment. Dr. Laurențiu Vlădău, dermatologist specialist at Hebra Dermatology Clinic, explained which of them are also supported by scientific evidence and are worth considering.
The exact cause of cellulite is not known, but it appears to result from an interaction between the connective tissue at the surface of the skin and the layer of fat that lies just below it. “In women, adipose tissue and connective tissue are arranged vertically, and if the fat cells exit through the skin layer, this confers the appearance of cellulite. In men, the tissue has a cross-section, which may explain why they are less likely than women to present cellulite, ”explains the dermatologist.
Here are some of the most common theories about this skin problem:
Cellulite is caused by toxins in the body – MIT
Some anti-cellulite products promise to help improve cellulite by eliminating impurities and toxins from the body, but their effectiveness is not supported by scientific evidence. “Cellulite occurs when the underlying fat deposits begin to push through layers of collagen fibers, or connective tissue, most often in the area of the buttocks and thighs, but also on the arms or abdomen. The connective tissue may be weakened as a result of hormonal imbalance, in the absence of exercise and muscle tone, due to excess fat and poor circulation, but certainly not due to the presence of toxins in the body, ”explains Dr. Laurențiu Vlădău.
Cellulite worsens with age – True
As women get older, their body produces less estrogen – a hormone that helps maintain good blood vessel circulation. "Less estrogen means poor circulation, which can also mean a decrease in collagen production and breakdown of old connective tissue, factors that favor cellulite," says the dermatologist.
Weak people do not have cellulite – Myth
The larger the fat layer, the more likely it is to look like an orange peel. But cellulite is a problem faced by women of all shapes and sizes, even very weak ones, who move and have a very healthy diet.
Exercises can reduce the appearance of cellulite – True
Unfortunately, not even physical exercises will permanently remove cellulite – but in many cases movement can help prevent or improve its appearance. Cellulite occurs when the connective fibers under the skin lose their elasticity, but their stretching and strengthening, in addition to removing excess fat, can be helpful.
"Strengthening and toning the muscles in areas prone to cellulite will help create a smoother appearance of the skin, giving the illusion that cellulite is less visible. The exercises aimed at the bottom and the thighs are indicated, as well as the strength training, which build muscles and stimulate circulation, ”recommends Dr. Laurențiu Vlădău.
Creams are effective in treating cellulite – Partly true
Studies have found that retinoid-containing products can have temporary effects in the treatment of cellulite, as well as creams or scrubs with stimulant ingredients, such as caffeine, ginger and green or black tea, which have a beneficial effect on improving circulation and decomposing storage deposits. fat cells.
Non-invasive procedures are effective in treating cellulite – True
Laser treatments, radiofrequency and cellulite massage have been used for several years to reduce the appearance of orange peel of the skin and although their results are not permanent, these non-invasive procedures are effective in the short term. "In general, these treatments will work better than the care products that promise the same effects, if the required number of sessions and monthly maintenance treatments are performed," says the dermatologist.
Smoking can affect the appearance of cellulite – True
There is scientific evidence to support the fact that smoking impedes the circulation of blood vessels, which will also affect the appearance of the skin. "Smoking can affect the formation of collagen fibers, which promotes faster stretching and deterioration of the connective tissue of the skin, allowing the underlying fats to become visible. In addition, the harmful effects of smoking on beauty do not stop here: this usually favors the appearance of wrinkles and premature aging, leaves the skin dry and dull and is an important factor in the appearance of stretch marks, "says Dr. Laurențiu Vlădău.