Cellulite formationCellulite formation
Formation of Cellulite
Definitions of the cellulite condition and recommendations on how to treat it have been the subject of numerous publications. These descriptions, often quite complex, have defined cellulite as a medical condition, which in fact it is, however, cellulite is also a cosmetic problem and considered "A FEMALE CONDITION"
Each individual at birth is given a set of fat cells, called adipocytes. These are used to store food fats for energy and other metabolic functions of the body.
Adipocytes are very active cells that constantly renew themselves, they are cells in which the dynamic process of lipolysis and lipogenesis are carried out.
One amazing fact is that fat cells do not multiply after puberty -- as your body stores more fat, the number of fat cells remains the same. Each fat cell simply gets bigger!
Fat cells (Adipocytes) are located in the fibrillar network of connective tissue set between the superficial dermal layer and the muscular mass.
This heavily vascularized and intermediate layer, the so-called fat layer or hypodermis, also includes elastin fibres, proteo-glycans and collagen.
Cellulite can be localized or widespread
Excess fat accumulates from the storage of nutrients the body doesn't use. The human body metabolizes excess caloric intake, whether from carbohydrates, lipids or proteins into triglycerides for storage in the vacuoles of fat cells. (adipocytes) This fat storage in normal circumstances is spread widely over the body surface withtendencies to accumulate where the inherited body shape dictates.
Cellulite will form more readily in women due to an inherent difference in the underlying connective tissue structure. In women, the subcutaneous structure is said to form an almost mattress-like construction at the interface between the dermis and hypodermis, with minute parallel strands attaching the skin to the underlying structure. It is where these strands anchor the skin, the characteristic pockets of 'peau-de-orange" skin, or depressions of cellulite, may appear.
Cellulite is also considered an inherited condition. There is a body type that will show the cellulite condition despite how low the overall body weight is.(photo right) These pockets of cellulite can be found in the gynous regions: hips, bottom, at the top of the thighs and sometimes the knees.
Cellulite can also be developed by excess fat storage, which will aggravate the inherent anomalies in enzymatic or hormonal functions that diminish lipolytic enzyme levels or accelerate the biosynthesis of enzymes that favor lipid accumulation. This type of cellulite is more wide spread over the body, and is always found with a moderate/severe weight problem. This type of cellulite is compounded by a sedentary/negative lifestyle and poor eating habits.
Cellulite has been defined as a 1-4 step process, beginning with a normal, pre-cellulite skin. the thigh area is the body area most susceptible to cellulite accumulation and the area targeted for the action of most cellulite treatment products.
Normal thigh area skin is quite healthy, in the pre-cellulite condition there is a thick epidermis (0.10 - 0.15mm) with a good reproductive activity in the basal layer. The surface is smooth and firm, with the dermis also healthy and being quite thick, (1-2mm) with little sun damage. With the capillaries extending up into the uppermost regions of the dermis, providing a good blood supply of nutrients and clearing fluids. Ultrasound scans of normal thigh area tissue also show a dense tissue development with little retained fluid, the fibroblasts are quiet active with no accumulation of crosslinked collagen or elastin nodules. The fat cells beneath the dermis are active, with no clumping, they are quite distinct and of normal diameter, not engorged with excess fat. Moreover, no fat deposits protrude into the dermal region.
Stage 1: The first events in cellulite formation are invisible, occurring at the cellular andmolecular level. A dermal deterioration is the hallmark of the first stage of cellulite formation. Blood vessel integrity breaks down, with the upper dermal region showing a loss of capillary networks. This is not unlike the deterioration associated with sun damage. Fat cells become engorged with lipid, often swelling to two or three times their original size, and begin clumping together. An excess of fluid is retained in the dermal and subdermal regions.Fluid accumulation is most likely due to the capillary breakdown, but whether this is a cause or an effect of the disturbed fat metabolism is not clear.
Stage 2: In the second stage of cellulite development, the tissue at the subdermal and dermal levels has deteriorated , blood vessels in the afflicted area are distrupted. Some regions have normal micro-circulation while adjacent regions can have markedly reduced blood flow. Fat cells engorged with lipid, clump together in the skin fat layer. This exacerbates the micro-circulation problem, with the blood vessels being pushed away by the regions rich in fat deposits. In addition, fluids tend to accumulate, increasing the problem in the sub-surface region. The surface effects are minimal, yet the "orange peel' look of the skin can now be detected. In general, a surface lumpiness or uneveness can be seen.
Stage 3: This stage is a continuation of the process in stage 2. Vascular deterioration begins to effect changes in the dermis, resulting in a less active dermal metabolism. This affects the protein synthesis and repair processes, (proteosomal decline) with protein deposits forming around the fat cells. In addition the lymphatic system which runs along side the micro-circulatory system, is unable to function efficiently and is unable to bathe cells with nourishing fluids and dispose of waste. Thus creating a toxic situation for all cells in the dermal and epidermal area.
Stage 4: This final stage of cellulite is marked by hard nodules in the dermal region, comprised of clups of fat cells surrounded by a hard reticular protein layer. The surface displays considerable unevenness, and can feel bruised when pressed or pinched. In addition the tissue is slow to return in shape and colour after pressure. (impaired lymphatic)
Summary of Cellulite Factors
- Cellulite is a secondary feminine sexual characteristic, will appear only after puberty with the increasing influence of sexual homones.
- Venous insufficiency: poor circulation is caused by pressure from fat cells or sedentary lifestyle
- Lymphatic insufficiency: caused by pressure from fat cells or sedentary lifestyle , thus the lymphatic system is unable to bring in nourishing fluids and remove waste.
- Sedentary lifestyle: a body which doesn't move, gains weight.
- Metabolism problems: women with cellulite often have a high level of cholesterol.
- Menopause: is also an aggravating factor and slows down the metabolism.
- Obesity: moderate to severe weight problems will compound/cause cellulite.
- Hereditary/Racial characteristics play a significant role in cellulite development.
- Pregnancy: circulartory deficiencies and habitual poor posture are all related to and are generally known to aggravate the cellulite condition.
- Contraceptive Pill: can stimulate some women's appetite, and cause water retention.
- Stress: nervous disorders, and lifestyle will again restrict the metobolic rate and lymphatic system.
More Cellulite facts
- Cellulite is almost always found in the gynous regions: hips, bottom, thighs, knees and in severe cases mid thoracic.
- Cellulite can be found in thin as well as over weight women.
- For thin women the cause is usually genetic or homonal, stress or puberty.
- For obese women the cause is usually negative work/play lifestyle.
- Menopause and pregnancy can also play a role.
Treating CelluliteType one:
Cellulite involves a number of specific conditions, and each one has to be treated to gain a result, the main conditions are:Insufficient microcirulation Impaired lymphatic system Poor elimination of waste Poor nourishment of cells Fat cell storage Skin firmness and thickness. Proteosomal decline Glycation of proteins
These conditions can often be treated as a group or individually, depending on the approach of the therapist, but all will have to addressed to get a result. A combination of salon treatments and takehome care products will ensure some effect, if used individually only a partial result will be achieved.
Both therapist and client must be dedicated to the program for a lenghty periods of time (some 4-6 months)- remember it took many years to develop the cellulite condtion, it is not going to vanish over night. If the cellulite is not too intrinsic (hereditary) and localised, it can be seriously addressed by a change in the work/play lifestyle that exacerbated the condition and both therapist and client can look forward to a good result.