Cellulite: What to do to treat and prevent it!

As we age and our skin thins, our fat beneath that skin can start to have an unappealing presentation. Cellulite is the dimpled appearance of skin as the laxity and thickness of the skin changes. It is usually more evident in women than men due to larger fat stores. The most common areas are higher fat-bearing areas, such as the hips, abdomen, buttocks, and thighs. However, cellulite can occur on any area on the trunk, arms, and legs. Younger overweight and obese individuals may have the appearance of cellulite if there is a large enough fat burden under the skin.

What are the signs of cellulite?

Areas where the skin is slack over fatty tissue will look dimpled and feel mottled to the touch. There is usually no pain or other discomfort with cellulite.

What can I do to treat cellulite?

There are a variety of cosmetic treatments available to target celllulite. The focus is on tightening the overlying skin, destroying the underlying fat, or both.

  • CoolScuplting: an FDA-cleared therapy that freezes fat non-surgically. There is some discomfort with this and multiple treatments are needed. Results will vary in terms of fat reduction. Read more about this and find a provider at Coolscuplting.com.
  • Thermage: usually a single treatment that uses a radiofrequency instrument to tighten loose skin. Find a provider and read more at Thermage.com.
  • Liposuction: a mechanical and surgical way to remove fatty tissue. This typically requires general anesthesia and will provide the most dramatic results. Consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon if considering this procedure.
  • Dry brushing, skin kneading and or deep tissue massage: These superficial techniques may break up the underlying fat or help improve the appearance of loose skin. They may cause physical discomfort, bruising, and may take a long time to see results. One example is the FasciaBlaster, a tool used to kneed the skin to minimize cellulite. Read more about FaciaBlaster on my SkinVestments page and at Fasciablaster.com.
  • Good skin care practices: The use of topical retinoids, moisturizers, and firming creams with hyaluronic acid may improve the visibility of cellulite. However,results tend to be less dramatic than the destructive therapies listed above.
  • Weight loss: naturally toning the body through exercise and reduced-fat diets can shrink and eliminate body fat that leads to cellulite's appearance. However, coupling exercise with some of the aforementioned options may help stubborn areas of cellulite not responding to just physical activity and diet.