Declaring War on Cellulite

Wendy Lewis

by Wendy Lewis | August 16, 2010 @ 03:00PM

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At some point, whether you're a size four or 12 female, you're likely to see a skin pattern developing that looks a little like quilting, and I don't mean the kind on Chanel bags. It starts on the back of your thighs, extends to the buttocks and eventually travels to the dreaded saddlebags, the fronts of your thighs, knees, and upper abdomen.

These dimply pockets are called 'cellulite' and have been known to reduce grown women to tears at the first sign of a crocus welcoming spring. As we age, our skin produces less collagen and elastin, causing a thinner dermal layer and the dimples become more obvious. At the skin's subcutaneous layer, our bodies' fat cells are lined up in between chambers of vertical fibers of connective tissue. In the young and firm, these cells are at a normal size so they look smoother and more resilient. Fluctuating hormone levels contribute to fat storage in these cells, and as they expand to make room for the increased fat, connective fibers get pulled down and fat cells bulge out, leaving the effect of peau d'orange.

Estrogen production is what makes cellulite unique to women, the other culprits are processed foods, sodium, fat, alcohol, caffeine, low water intake, a couch potato lifestyle, and genetics. The problem with classifying cellulite is the pure lack of science on the subject. The French wrote the book on cellulite. If you need proof, walk into any Pharmacie or the Cosmetics Department in Galeries Lafayette to find beaucoup anti-cellulite gels, creams, scrubs, and buffers, none of which offer any long term solution.

Endermologie®, the skin-fold rolling technology developed in France over a decade ago, can temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite. The operative word is temporarily. Engermologie® is not the total answer; it is one part of a multi-pronged approach to slimming and toning. A rolling, suction movement is applied with a hand held computer head that smoothes and tones the skin surface, and stimulates circulation by eliminating toxins in the tissues. The message is: be good to your liver (two litres of water a day and a balanced low carb diet) and it will metabolize fats more efficiently so that you'll be less likely to develop the 'C' word. There are two types of cellulite, dimples you see only when you squeeze, and the kind you can see all the time. After a series of 40-minute sessions once or twice per week for 16-20 weeks, be prepared for monthly maintenance or kiss your progress goodbye.

Endermologie® doesn't take away excess fat or any dress sizes. It works well as an adjunct to body liposuction to smooth and tone the skin once the fat cells are removed. and has been shown to speed up the healing process. If your goal is to be a 'perfect 10,' invest in a nutritionist and trainer to design a diet and fitness program for trouble spots, drink 2-3 liters of water daily, stop smoking, add vitamin supplements, limit sodium in the diet, and minimize intake of alcohol and caffeine. The sad fact is that if the body retains water, gravity takes it down to the lower half. According to many clinical studies, there is still no scientifically proven, definitive, long-term treatment for cellulite.

Wendy Lewis is an independent cosmetic surgery consultant,

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