Cellulite

One  of the most  common beauty  concerns for women is the development of cellulite.  Cellulite refers  to the  dimpled appearance of the  skin  on  the  hips,  thighs, and  buttocks. Until  the 1980s,  excess weight  was the focus  of ads for weight  loss and diet products. Increasingly afterward, it has become common to see ads referring  to flab, bulges,  or excess  fat. Liposuction and  the  removal  of cellulite  are a result  of this trend. Cellulite is more  common in women because of the way fat is stored and distributed in women’s bodies. It is not harmful to the health of the afflicted individual, but treatment for cellulite  is in high demand due to its effect on one’s overall appearance. The  treatment for cellulite is costly, generally  ineffective, and in some  cases can be detrimental to the consumer’s overall health.

Cellulite occurs in people of all races and, though it is more common in women, it can also occur in men. Genetics, gender, skin thickness, age, and the percentage of body fat can all influence the appearance and severity of cellulite. The  dimpled appearance is caused by fat deposits beneath the skin. Many treatments for cellulite have been written about and promoted due to the desire to have smooth skin. Methylxanthines are chemicals that  are present in caffeine  and  are often  used  in cellulite  creams. These are known for their  ability to break  down  fat stores, but such  creams do not  provide  the high  concentrations of the chemicals that  would be necessary for any significant fat removal. Massage treatments can also be used to treat  cellulite.  These treatments provide  a temporary decrease in the  appearance  of cellulite  by redistributing fat. Massage treatments are often  very expensive and  require multiple treatments to maintain results. Therapies using  lasers and lights have also been  approved by the U.S. Food  and Drug Administration (FDA),  some  in  combination with  massage therapy. These treatments are  even more  costly  than massage. Mesotherapy, for  example,  involves  injecting drugs directly  into  the skin, but  this is controversial and is not  widely available. Natural treatments such  as special  cellulite  diets  claim  to reduce inflammation and  improve circulation in order  to change the appearance of the skin. Eating  a healthy diet can  also decrease fluid retention, which  can  in turn decrease inflammation.

Taking a combination of dietary supplements can also boost metabolism, improve overall circulation, and break  down  fat stores. Some  salons  also offer herbal  body wraps as a treatment for cellulite  that  works by detoxifying the body.

None of these  treatments has been proven effective at eliminating cellulite. It is possible to improve the appearance, but  these  effects are temporary. Liposuction can actually  make  cellulite  worse  and  is not  a recommended treatment. Eating  a healthy diet and  participating in regular exercise  is promoted as the  best  way to prevent and decrease the appearance of cellulite.

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