Cellulite is not a disease. It is a cosmetic disorder, which appears as pitting, bulging and deformation of the skin. Cellulite most commonly occurs around the thigh region in women.
Cellulite is not a medical condition and is not a health risk. It is a common problem, which affects many women and some men. Poor blood and lymphatic circulation, hormonal imbalances, connective tissue weakness, premature skin ageing, poor nutrition, excessive alcohol intake and/or a sedentary lifestyle may contribute to the problem.
WHAT IS CELLULITE?
When Cellulite first appears the skin looks soft and flabby with bulging contours. As the condition progresses, the framework of the skin begins to break down. When Cellulite reaches an advanced stage the spongy lumps harden into nodules commonly known as 'orange peel skin'.
WHAT CAUSES CELLULITE?
If your body is storing large amounts of body fat, it needs some sort of structure to support the fat. It sets up a network of protein strands (called 'collagen') that weave through the fat stores, and attach to the skin. The tension of the collagen strands can pull the skin inwards. This gives the dimpling effect that can be a problem on the thighs or arms of females, or the stomachs of males. This combination of body fat stores and supporting fibres is called Cellulite.
There is no 'quick fix' for Cellulite. Treatments such as rubbing, massage, creams, plastic wraps, or heat can cause a short-term (one to 4 hours) reduction in the size of the treatment area because they reduce the amount of fluids in the area, such as the blood or water. However, these fluids are soon replaced, and the area goes back to its original size. A well-balanced diet combined with regular exercise is the only formula for permanent low body fat levels.
Always consult your Doctor for diagnosis and advice. Your Doctor can give you advice about treating poor circulation if necessary. A healthy diet and regular exercise is the only sure way to reduce Cellulite.
In extreme cases surgical procedures such as liposuction are available to remove excess fat deposits in the body. Ask your Doctor about the risks and benefits of such procedures. Such procedures should only be considered in conjunction with diet and exercise management.
• A healthy diet, which is high in fluids and fibre and low in fat, may help to reduce Cellulite by improving the elimination processes in the body and by reducing body fat levels.
• A high fibre diet includes eating foods such as wholemeal bread and cereals, fruit and vegetables with each meal.
• Try to drink approximately 6 to 8 glasses of fresh water throughout the day.
• Avoid salty foods and avoid adding salt to food. Dietary salt can cause fluid to be retained in the body, which may worsen the visible signs of Cellulite.
• It is best to choose foods, which are low in fat and avoid fried foods, cakes, biscuits, pastry, chocolate etc.
Nutritional supplements are only to be taken if the dietary vitamin intake is inadequate.
• Ginkgo biloba is a herb that helps to improve circulation and may be beneficial in reducing the severity of Cellulite.
• Vitamin C (ascorbic acid slow-release) stimulates the growth of collagen (connective tissue found in tendons) and may help to improve the appearance of skin affected by Cellulite.
• Bioflavonoids are water-soluble nutrients, which may help to keep collagen in healthy condition and increase the strength of small blood vessels.
• Celery (Apium graveolens), Juniper (Juniperus communis) and Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) are herbs with diuretic properties. Research indicates that removing unwanted fluid from the body may help in reducing the appearance of Cellulite.
• Chlorophyll is a concentrated alfalfa extract that helps to regulate the pH of the body and is also used to help remove unwanted toxins, which may contribute to the formation of Cellulite.
• Acidophilus is a natural substance found in the body. As a supplement it helps to regulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the bowel. Acidophilus promotes healthy digestion and elimination of wastes that may worsen the appearance of Cellulite.
The listed essential oils are suggested for Cellulite health management. The most specific oils are shown in capitals.
FENNEL, GERANIUM, GRAPEFRUIT, JUNIPER, Lemon
MASSAGE: Blend 5 drops (total) of any listed single essential oil or combination of essential oils to 10mL (1/3 fl oz) carrier: Sweet Almond, Apricot Kernel. Massage firmly into thighs, buttocks and other areas cellulite is present. For best effect, massage after a warm shower or bath when skin is warm and moist. Most effective when used in conjunction with a nutritional diet and exercise programme.
Ask your MedAux Pharmacist for advice.
1. There is no specific medication, which is used to treat Cellulite. The actual cause of Cellulite is still relatively unknown. The best approach involves improving circulation through regular exercise, reducing fat in the diet, maintaining a healthy weight and reducing fluid retention.
2. If weight control is a problem ask your Pharmacist for advice about the weight control products available from the Pharmacy.
3. Try to drink 6 to 8 glasses of filtered water throughout the day. Water is necessary to help the lymphatic system work more efficiently and to stimulate the natural process of waste elimination from the body. Ask to see the range of special water filter jugs.
4. Consider some nutritional supplements if the diet is inadequate. Weak connective tissue may contribute to the formation of Cellulite. Poor wound healing and easy bruising may be indicators of this.
5. A fibre supplement and acidophilus may help to stimulate digestion and the elimination of waste products from the body.