Cellulite is a condition that affects a significant proportion of the female population. However, the causes of cellulite have been poorly understood for a very long time. Therefore, many cellulite treatments are quite ineffective and can actually be destructive. Many aestheticians and doctors are under the mistaken impression that cellulite is an adipose (fat) tissue disorder. This has led them to utilize treatments such as suction, high-pressure massage, proteolytic enzymes, thermal treatments, “fat burning” injections and other unproductive modalities.
Cellulite is actually a hormonally driven connective tissue disorder that leads to lumpy and painful lesions to your thigh and buttocks areas. Cellulite is seen very commonly in women, but only rarely in men. The most up to date scientific studies show that cellulite is initiated by the destruction of your connective tissue in the special type of fat located in your thighs and buttocks. This type of fat is special because it is a storage form of fat that is meant to be available for a growing and developing fetus during times of famine. It is very difficult to burn this type of fat and it is resistant to dieting and exercise. This resistant fat has special receptors that allow this fat to be easily stored, but difficult to burn.
Your body experiences many hormonal changes throughout the course of your menstrual cycle. Your period is characterized by bleeding which is the result of the breakdown of your endometrial tissue. This endometrial tissue is where a fetus can grow if you have successfully implanted a fertilized ovum (egg). If however, you do not become pregnant in any particular menstrual cycle, your endometrium needs to be “broken down”, then removed to begin your next cycle. The process of “breaking down” your endometrial tissue requires that specialized cells in your body (called fibroblasts) secrete very powerful enzymes (called Matrix Metalloproteinases – MMPs) These enzymes (MMPs) are needed to break down the collagen in your endometrial tissue, however these MMPs also break down the collagen in your entire body. Collagen in the most abundant and important protein your body. When your collagen breaks down, it can lead to all kinds of connective tissue disorders (including cellulite).
When the connective tissue in the special fatty areas of your thighs and buttocks is broken down by the MMPs this leads to a lumpy, unsightly condition known as cellulite. Your fat cells are normally contained within a network of connective tissue that separates superficial (the outer layer of fat) from deeper fat. However, if your connective tissue gets damaged by the enzymatic action of the MMPs, your fat cells are no longer contained in a smooth, orderly fashion, but instead, start to “spill out” leading to hills and craters.
Scientific studies show that there is a close relationship to estrogen metabolism, your menstrual cycle and the development of cellulite. This same evidence also suggests why women are more prone than men are to various types of connective tissue disorders.
Cellulite can be treated safely and intelligently, but this requires “fixing what is wrong”.
At MD Skin, we recommend the following approach to cellulite treatment: