Dr. Nedic discusses cellulite causes and its subsequent treatments…
Just about every woman on this planet, (no matter what size she is) has cellulite. Some men have it, too. While some people make their peace with it, a vast majority wage war against it – so it’s no small wonder that there are hundreds of products and treatments on the market today, all promising to banish cellulite forever.
Question is…do any of them work? And is there such a thing as a ‘ cure’ for the orange peel syndrome? Here Dr Sly Nedic discusses cellulite causes and its subsequent treatments…
Over the years I have been asked by my female patients to finally get something into my practice which can forever cure their cellulite. Since I often attend the most prestigious congresses with numerous discussions from leading experts on the topic, I can conclude that cellulite is here to stay… and it cannot be eradicated completely. Therefore educating an affected population (mostly women) rather than delivering false hope is the way to go.
3 most updated facts on cellulite
- It has gotten worse over the last 30 years from environmental toxicity, an overload of xenoestrogens and stress.
- It is getting worse as we age, particularly after the age of 35 when our growth hormones drop – and again after the age of 45 when our collagen becomes lax from loss of Estrogen
- Genetic predisposition plays an important role (ACE and HIF1A gene) as it’s more difficult to treat.
5 factors involved in cellulite pathogenesis
Dimorphic skin structure in women – our connective tissue structure in the subcutaneous layers where cellulite appears is prone to bulging if there is increased fat, altered circulation or weakening of the collagen. This is because it looks like a picket fence. Meanwhile, main connective tissue looks like a cross-linked fence so it holds any fat tissue tight.
Women store around 20 -25 % of fat (compared to that of men who stores 10 %), of which the majority is stored in three layers of the buttock and thigh area (known as gyneoid fat). This is also the area where estrogen regulates adrenergic receptors called alfa (responsible for gyneoid fat storage). We have a ratio of 9 alfa to 1 beta-receptor, as opposed to men who have a 1:1 ratio. Even slim ladies can get cellulite if their gyneoid fat is not held tightly in the “cellulite pockets” – especially if they have altered cortisol levels due to ongoing stress.
Contrary to the popular belief that exercise can cure cellulite, a lack of exercise can actually make cellulite worse. Several studies note that female athletes (who generally have a lower percentage of body fat), regularly have less cellulite. In all realistic regimes involved in the management of cellulite, aerobic exercise should be included three times a week.
An unhealthy diet where there is no regular consumption of organic fresh fruit and vegetables, but rather the consumption of predominantly processed food full of saturated fats, herbicides and pesticides.
Hormonal imbalances with underlying insulin resistance, thyroid, adrenalin or cortisol problems altering cell metabolism (both fat and connective tissue cells), circulation and inflammatory cytokines.
2 myths about cellulite
Myth 1: Cellulite can be cured Knowing how many factors are involved in cellulite formation, it is unrealistic that all of these factors can be corrected simultaneously, thus leading a person to be cellulite free. In recent supportive literature, it is advocated that cellulite can be managed satisfactorily by using a multifactor approach by 60-70 %. However, these expectations are not applicable if the patient is using only an Amynophilline based cream, or only follows a healthy diet.
Myth 2: Cellulite can be cured with liposuction In fact, liposuction (which can be successfully used for reshaping the body) can worsen the effects of cellulite by damaging the collagen septi that are involved in cellulite formation.
4 approaches to manage cellulite
- Addressing the collagen issue
- Diminishing fat formation
- Improving and enhancing circulation
- Treating the patient holistically – and not just locally
What can we do to realistically diminish the appearance of cellulite?
In emphasizing the multifactor pathogenesis of cellulite formation, it’s very clear that the best results can be achieved to identify the causes and treat them accordingly – preferably by a medical doctor specialising in this field. Sometimes just by merely treating a cortisol level or supporting detoxification, tremendous results can be achieved.
Medical devices: Both Velashape™ and Thermage have FDA approval for cellulite treatment
*Velashape is considered as non-surgical alternative to liposuction, which assists with cellulite and circumference reduction (in clinical trials, the average range of circumferential reduction was 2-7cm.) The unique ELOS technology in Velashape is a combination of Radio frequency and Infrared light, which decreases the fat cells size by enhancing lipolysis. It has a vacuum system that “opens” blood vessels and increases circulation and lymphatic drainage – while the massage system in Velashape enrich the removal of trapped extracellular fluid and toxins. In addition, RF can stimulate the production of new collagen in the cellulite septi, creating firmer legs. Gradual improvement on the treated area can be seen following the fourth treatment, but full results in circumference reduction will be most apparent in three months following the final session.
*Thermage has FDA clearance for cellulite improvement. It is a monopolar radio frequency that targets collagen fibers around cellulite cells, thereby giving a less dimpled look while making the skin firm. It’s a single treatment without any down time recommended. It is also successfully used for the treatment in flaccid cellulite, where there is apparent collagen damage and the thighs are very saggy and wobbly. Immediately after a single treatment, the patient normally sees a 20% improvement, but continuous improvement can be seen over six months.
This is prescribed according to an underlying cause. Cortisol, Thyroid, Insulin, Oestrogen dominance and even low growth hormone or Testosterone should be replaced or re-balanced. The patient is advised to opt for more organic food with less saturated fat, less alcohol and supportive detoxification. Aerobic exercise three times a week should also be a part for any of anti-cellulite regime. Meanwhile, other cellulite treatments available (such as massaging, endermology and topical and systemic herbal treatments) have little supportive data that suggests it can improve cellulite – but rather it can temporarily improve the dimpled appearance. It’s also not contraindicated to be used with the above mentioned medical treatments.