What Causes Cellulite

If you’ve ever noticed uneven, lumpy, and dimpled skin on your thighs, buttocks, abdomen, or arms, then you are already familiar with the word cellulite. Cellulite is a common skin condition caused by pockets of fat deposits that reside just beneath the surface of the skin. Although cellulite is a harmless condition and does not necessarily pose any health concerns, many people dislike cellulite’s cottage cheese-like appearance on the skin and prefer to eliminate it. 

If you are frustrated by the appearance of cellulite on parts of your body, you are not alone. Because of high demand, various companies and doctor’s offices offer various cellulite treatments. There are so many choices out there that it could be daunting to figure out which products and methods work and which are simply well-advertised. It would be great if there were magical cellulite creams that you could apply to your skin and have immediate results. Unfortunately, that is simply not how science works. This can only mean that it’s time to look at science-backed methods of reducing cellulite and figure out what works once and for all. 

A Closer Look at Cellulite

Cellulite occurs when pockets of fat get in between the fibrous connective cords that hold the skin and the underlying muscles together. The long cords pull the skin down towards the muscle while the fat cells push up against the skin, creating a dimpled look.  

Cellulite most often occurs on the thighs and buttocks but can also appear on the abdomen, breasts, and arms. You can see mild cellulite by pinching a portion of your skin between your fingers and noticing dimpled or bumpy skin. More severe cellulite will appear as peaks and valleys below the skin’s surface. People often describe cellulite as having an orange peel or cottage cheese appearance. 

Cellulite is more common in women than in men. In fact, most women will develop some form of cellulite after hitting puberty. Cellulite is also more likely to appear with age when collagen production slows down, and the skin loses its elasticity. 

What Causes Cellulite?

Cellulite is caused by subcutaneous fat buildup. However, some individuals are more likely to develop cellulite than others. Your genes, body fat percentage, age, and skin thickness can all influence the amount of cellulite you will develop and how noticeable it will be. Here are some other factors that can encourage the development of cellulite:

  • Weight gain
  • Poor diet
  • Unhealthy lifestyle
  • Genetics
  • Accumulation of toxins
  • Pregnancy
  • Inactivity
  • Menopause
  • Hormones (High levels of estrogen cause low production of collagen, exacerbating the appearance of cellulite)

Between 80% and 90% of women have gone through puberty, and up to 10% of men have cellulite. 

Are There Treatments for Cellulite?

Although cellulite is a common condition that affects many people, it can be difficult to eliminate and can become quite frustrating. Dermatologists recommend several options for people looking to improve the appearance of cellulite. Regular exercise can help you increase your muscle mass which can flatten cellulite and significantly reduce its appearance. Exercises like running, cycling, and resistance training can also increase blood flow to particular areas and help speed up weight loss. In addition to exercising, keeping a healthy diet can help keep cellulite at bay. High-calorie diets that are heavy in carbohydrates, fats, preservatives, and salt are likely to encourage cellulite formation and make it harder to diminish its appearance.

If you’ve tried exercising and keeping a healthy diet and are not seeing the results you want, the following more advanced cellulite treatments could be right for you:

  • Laser treatments to help firm the skin
  • Deep massage to help plump up the skin
  • Creams and lotions containing retinol or caffeine
  • Mesotherapy (needle-injected FDA-approved drugs used for the treatment of cellulite)
  • Subcision (a needle is inserted under the skin to break up tough bands that are causing cellulite)
  • Liposuction could be helpful in removing fat cells. However, it has not been proven to target cellulite effectively. 
  • Body contouring treatments 
  • Vacuum-assisted precise tissue release
  • Radiofrequency, ultrasound, or infrared lights can help heat up the skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite.

While all of these treatments have the ability to address your cellulite concerns, many can be painful, cause bruising or discoloration, or require downtime. If you would like to improve your overall health and wellness but are not ready for plastic surgery, treatments like radiofrequency and acoustic wave therapy (shockwave therapy) could be the right solution for you. At LaSara Medical Group, we offer an effective and noninvasive treatment for cellulite – extracorporeal-focused shockwave therapy. 

Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy works by delivering singular acoustic waves to the treatment area to create micro-tears in connective tissue and break down fatty deposits. Shockwave therapy (ESWT) can help improve skin elasticity, promote collagen production, and reduce the appearance of cellulite. Additionally, shockwave therapy treatments, like the ones offered at LaSara Medical Group, help stimulate the body’s natural healing process and encourage collagen production to create firmer, more lifted, and smoother skin. 

Ultimately, shockwave therapy is an easy and non-invasive way to help reduce the appearance of cellulite and can provide the following additional benefits:

  • No scarring
  • Diminishes the appearance of cellulite dimples
  • No risk of infection
  • Provide long-lasting results
  • No downtime
  • Affordable

At your shockwave therapy appointment, your healthcare provider will use a handheld device to direct acoustic pulses (sound waves) into the layers of fat located directly beneath your skin. This will produce miniature injuries in the area and promote collagen production, healing, and tightening of the skin. 

Boost Your Confidence and Improve Your Skin

At LaSara Medical Group, we understand that cellulite can be a cosmetic annoyance as well as a confidence dampener. Although there are still conflicting opinions on the exact cause of cellulite, we are happy to emphasize that there are many treatments that can get you back to feeling more like yourself. Our experienced medical staff at LaSara Medical is excited to offer non-invasive, easy cellulite treatments that are sure to provide you with visible, long-lasting results. If you are interested in finding out whether shockwave therapy is right for you, don’t hesitate to contact us today. With offices in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego, our highest priority is to help you get back to feeling more like yourself!