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Truth about Cellulite: Prevention and Treatment

Cellulite is a condition where  clumps of fat are distributed under the skin. These are usually present in the thighs and buttocks…. an ultimate bikini bummer. For the record, it is not an abnormal medical condition. In fact, it is not even a medical term. However, this is a concern in most women because it create bumps on surface of the skin. Women are more likely to develop cellulite especially on ages 35 and up. In this article, let us know more about cellulite, its prevention and treatment.


Why Does Cellulite Appear?

The photo below illustrates the major layers of our skin. The most bottom part is the subcutaneous fat.

The lumps of fat is separated by a rigid structure. Diet high in fats and carbohydrates causes the fat cells to swell up to three times its normal size. When fat cells expand large enough, they bulge out from the rigid strands surrounding it. It’s basically similar to what happens when you try to fit in a small bra and back plus boob-fat just bulge out from everywhere or that muffin top when you wear pants that are too tight.

Fats & Carbohydrates contribute to storage of fat, though appearance of cellulite can vary in different person depending on several factors. Cellulite may even develop to skinny people too.


How NOT to treat cellulite

Anti-Cellulite Lotions

Come on, let’s be serious. Cellulite is caused by lumps of fat cells underneath the layers of your skin.  Lotions can only penetrate up to the superficial layers of your skin (Epidermis) and cannot really shrink fat cells. There is no concrete scientific proof that any product when applied onto the skin, penetrate the subcutaneous tissues, dissolve the fat, and improve the texture of the tissues.


Fat-Loss Pill

It has not been demonstrated in consistent and conclusive scientific research that dietary products can target or “burn” excess fats that causes cellulite.

Exercise machines (aka Jiggle machines)

Photo from www.atomictoasters.com

These machines vibrate and causes your fat tissues to  move. Proper diet and exercise burns fat cells and not by passive vibration of fat tissues.


Prevention for Cellulite

Don’t make everyday your cheat day

Too much carbohydrates and fats can swell fat cells and increase the chances of developing cellulites. It is important to remember though that cellulite also have significant hereditary factors. When your momma has it, you may develop it too.   Nevertheless, there is LOGIC to the suggestion that one should avoid gaining too much weight to lessen the appearance of cellulite.

However, in your quest to get rid of your cellulite, it is also important to avoid CRASH DIETS say, losing 5 kgs in 1 week. When you lose weight very rapidly, the areas where cellulite used to appear may create a saggy skin.


Break a Sweat!

When you burn more calories than the amount you’re taking in (from your food), your body will burn the fats you have been storing for ages and convert them to energy. Moreover, exercising helps you develop your muscles. Muscles tend to grow in a uniform and smooth manner unlike fats which love to grow together in lumps.


Recent Technologies for  Cellulite Treatment

If you are one of those who have inherited cellulite or have already developed them and diet nor exercise does no good, you can resort to other technologies for its treatment. These treatments may be pricey, but if your cellulite is causing you psychological distress, here are the options you might consider:


This is the removal of fats by piercing through the skin using a thin tube to suck fat cells from the subcutaneous fatty layer. Because removal of fat is a mechanical process, the success of liposuction relies so much on the skills of the surgeon, so always consider to avail service from reputable institution.

Injection Lipolysis / Body Contouring

This method is often called us surgery-free liposuction. This process injects a chemical called phosphatidylcholine in subcutaneous tissues and dissolves unwanted fat. Phosphatidylcholine may sound scary (and difficult to pronounce) but several studies have shown this compound is safe. It is extracted from soy and in fact naturally present in our bodies, specifically in our liver and in our fat cells

Radiofrequency and Infrared Light

This method makes use of ultra-sonic waves to create microbubbles in the fat tissue by varying pressures and temperatures. This results to breakdown of fat cells making it easier to be cleared from the body. The infrared light, on the other hand, penetrates the skin and dissociates oxyhemoglobin (combination of hemoglobin and oxygen in the blood) and releases oxygen. Available oxygen can then be used for fat metabolism. Velasmooth and Velashape are example of treatments that uses radiofrequency and infrared light for cellulite.

Clinics offering different technologies for Cellulite treatment (Philippines)

  1. Skin Dermatology & Laser Center offers Velasmooth, a patented technology that combines radiofrequencey and infrared lite for cellulite removal. It also includes a mechanical massage to spread tissues that surrounds the fat lumps.
  2. Skin metro uses combination of radiofrequency and mesotherapy (injection lipolysis) for cellulite treatment.
  3. Vietura Aesthetic Lifestyle offers Ultralipo (radiofrequency) and Mesolipotherapy (injection lipolysis) as their treatment options for cellulite
  4. Xara Skin Clinic offers Fat Cavitation RF Ultrasound Liposuction (just a fancy term here…its basically radiofrequency technology)
  5. Cathy Valencia Advanced Skin Clinic they call it Mesofatdissolve, its an injection lipolysis technology
  6. Shinagawa Lasik & Aesthetics   they call it Viora, it uses radiofrequency technology

Injection Lipolysis, Radiofrequency and Infrared Light, though safe, is not recommended for older individuals. This is because fats that have been broken down from the procedure has to be eliminated from your body by its own metabolism. Moreover, for the same reason, it’s important to incorporate proper diet and exercise to compliment the treatment.

A very important note:

A study conducted by Alster and his colleagues on radiofrequency, with a combination of infrared light and massage on 20 patients showed improvement. However, there is an observed reappearance of cellulite after follow up treatment which means that the procedures require constant re-treatment to maintain positive results.




E. Emanuele, (2013) Cellulite: Advances in treatmentFacts and controversies, Clinics in Dermatology, Vol. 31, Issue 6 pp. 725-730

Alster TS (2005), Tanzi EL., Cellulite Treatment using a novel combination radiofrequency, infrared light and mechanical tissue manipulation device. Journal Cosmetic Laser Therapy; Vol 7 pp 81-85

Rossi AM & Katz BE (2014) A Modern Approach to the Treatment of Cellulite, Dermatol Clin, Vol 32, pp 51-59


Article written by:

Anne Porter

Hi! I’m Anne. I am a chemical engineer from Cebu, Philippines. I created Zarins Beautylab because of my love for cosmetics, skin care products and all other stuff that makes me (and you) look and feel beautiful. My semesters of chemistry courses come in handy as I explain the science behind different beauty products: which works and how it works. Well, Sometimes its science and sometimes its just good ol’ common sense.

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