Cellulite is incredibly common (more than 80% of women will develop it) but that doesn't stop us wishing we didn’t.
If you dislike the “orange peel” appearance on your thighs, buttocks or around your knees, you’re not alone; one study found that women with cellulite consider themselves overall less attractive than those who don’t have it.
Although cellulite can be stubborn to treat, there do now exist a number of procedures to tackle its characteristic lumps and bumps and achieve smoother skin. Below, we profile four options, all available at Ocean Clinic Marbella.
What Causes Cellulite?
Cellulite is more than skin deep; it occurs below the derma, when fat cells enlarge and start to push through the connective tissue into the skin. This happens as women age and start producing less estrogen and storing more fat (generally from around 25 to 35).
In women, the connective tissue (formed mainly by fibroblasts and collagen fibers) is arranged in free-standing chambers filled with fat cells. These are separated by vertical walls of fibrous bands called septa. In men however, subcutaneous fat is stored in smaller chambers with septa that form a criss-cross structure.
This criss-crossing of men’s septa means the chambers are stronger and more able to contain the fat within, thus preventing it from protruding out. Meanwhile, men are also less inclined to store fat on their buttocks and thighs - the areas most prone to cellulite. This explains why men are far less likely to have cellulite than women.
Types of Cellulite
A cellulite severity scale, published in 2009, ranks the condition using three grades:
Grade 1 (mild): There is an "orange-peel" appearance, with between 1-4 superficial depressions, and a slightly "draped" or sagging appearance to the skin.
Grade 2 (moderate): There is a "cottage cheese" appearance, with between 5-9 medium-depth depressions, and the skin appears moderately draped.
Grade 3 (severe): There is a "mattress" appearance, with 10 or more deep depressions, and the skin is severely draped.
The severity of your cellulite will affect the results that can be achieved with treatment, however the appearance of all grades should be improved. Your doctor or therapist will advise you what kind of results you can expect.
Effective Cellulite Treatments 1. Venus Legacy (Radiofrequency)
Venus Legacy is an exciting new device that combines multi-polar radiofrequency and pulsed electromagnetic fields to stimulate the tissue deep down. It works by heating the tissue to shrink fat cells and trigger the production of collagen. Collagen strengthens the connective tissue that holds the fat cells in place, therefore tightening skin and reducing the appearance of cellulite.
In addition, Venus Legacy encourages the release of trapped fluid and stimulates drainage of fluids and toxins through the lymphatic system. Poor circulation of the lymphatic system is thought to be a significant contributor to cellulite formation.
As well as working on cellulite, the treatment addresses sagging skin and can also have a slimming effect. It can be used to lift and tone buttocks and contour thighs, offering the opportunity to enhance the silhouette at the same time as improving the skin tone.
Venus Legacy is completely non invasive, 100% safe (FDA approved) and painless. Treatments can be customised to target cellulite at any stage, for all skin types and requires no downtime. A course of 5-10 sessions is advised, depending on the severity of your cellulite.
2. LPG Endermologie
LPG Endermologie is a revolutionary connective tissue treatment from France that involves gently rollering and suctioning the skin to reactivate dormant cellular activity. It offers a number of benefits, including the reduction of cellulite. Using the patented "Alliance" treatment head, skin and fatty tissue are stimulated to soften them and make them less fibrous. At the same time, this stimulation helps to release fat and activate lymphatic circulation, giving skin back its tonicity.
The treatment’s efficacy has been proven by 85 scientific studies, which have shown LPG Endermologie can dramatically boost production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. These rejuvenating substances aid all-natural repair.
The system is also used as a non-invasive alternative to liposuction. Applied on the areas where cellulite typically appears (legs and buttocks), it will both smooth and slim. Inner thigh or knee skin sagging can also be tackled, all at the same time.
LPG Endermologie is absolutely pain-free, safe and does not traumatise skin, meaning no redness. The treatment is suitable for men and women of all ages and all skin types. A course of 6-8 sessions is recommended for optimum results.
3. Ultrasound Cavitation
Ultrasound Cavitation is a non invasive treatment, which uses pulsed ultrasound energy to destroy fat cells. The high-frequency sound waves disrupt the fat cell walls, causing the contents to be released. Meanwhile, the surrounding tissue, nerves and muscles are left completely unharmed by the procedure.
The process stimulates the lymph system, which works to naturally eliminate the fat. Reducing the subcutaneous fat (fat that forms under the surface of your skin) helps to eliminate cellulite. What’s more, you can experience a significant reduction in the circumference of your thighs or bottom (average circumferential loss per area treated with ultrasound is 4.5 cms).
Ultrasound cavitation is safe, quick and painless - it is a gentle and soothing experience, much like a hot stone massage. Treatments take an hour or less and patients can return to work immediately afterwards. Between 3-6 treatments, scheduled two weeks apart are recommended for each treatment area.
4. Thigh lift
If you’re looking for a surgical solution to your cellulite and have additional aesthetic concerns you wish to address, a thigh lift can deliver a total thigh makeover. A thigh lift (also called a crural lift) literally involves lifting the sagging skin and fatty tissue on the upper and outer thigh towards the groin. Excess skin and tissue is removed and deep support sutures are placed in the underlying tissues to help create a tight and toned thigh.
The procedure is combined with liposuction in order to remove larger amounts of fat and further shape and contour the thighs. The removal of fat reduces the appearance of cellulite, while surgical skin tightening leads to improvements in dimpling and other irregularities.
Although a thigh lift can be performed on an outpatient basis (meaning you don’t have to stay overnight in the clinic), it does require at least two weeks of downtime (up to one month if you have a physical job). You will also have scars - they are usually hidden in the groin crease, but can sometimes extend along the inner thigh.
Because of this, a thigh lift is a good choice if you have significant loose skin and excess fat in addition to cellulite. If you are only seeking to tighten and tone, then a non-surgical treatment can provide pleasing results.
To find out which of the above treatments would be best suited to you, book a consultation at Ocean Clinic Marbella on 951 775 518 or email email@example.com