Cellulite is a term for the formation of lumps and dimples in the skin. Common names for cellulite are orange-peel or cottage-cheese skin.
Cellulite can affect both men and women, but it is more common in females, due to the different distributions of fat, muscle, and connective tissue.
Between 80 and 90 percent of women may experience cellulite at some point in their lives.
GRDAES OF CELLULITE:
Grade 1 – you can’t see cellulite with the naked eye, but the changes on your skin are still going on microscopically.
Grade 2 – the skin shows paleness, lower temperature, and decreased elasticity after compression or muscular contraction. There is no visible “orange peel” roughness to the skin.
Grade 3 – this is when the lumps and bumps are starting to make themselves visible. Thin granulations in the deep levels of the skin can be detected by palpitation. All Grade 2 signs are present.
Grade 4 – more visible, palpable, and painful lumps are present, adhering to deep structures in the skin. The skin has a noticeable dimpled, wavy appearance. Additional microscopic changes are detected. Grade 4 signs are present, and cellulite is constantly visible to the patient.
WHAT CAUSES CELLULITE:
The exact cause of cellulite is unknown, but it appears to result from an interaction between the connective tissue in the dermatological layer that lies below the surface of the skin, and the layer of fat that is just below it.
In women, the fat cells and connective tissue in this layer are arranged vertically.
If the fat cells protrude into the layer of skin, this gives the appearance of cellulite.
In men, the tissue has a criss-cross structure, which may explain why are less likely to have cellulite than women.
Some other factors appear to be linked to the chance of having cellulite.
Hormones likely play an important role in cellulite development. Estrogen, insulin, noradrenaline, thyroid hormones, and prolactin are part of the cellulite production process.
One theory is that as estrogen in women decreases in the approach to menopause, blood flow to the connective tissue under the skin also decreases.
Lower circulation means less oxygen in the area, resulting in lower collagen production. Fat cells also enlarge as estrogen levels fall.
These factors combine to makes the fat deposits more visible. As the fat under the skin protrudes through weakening connective tissue, the familiar dimpling effect results.
Age also causes the skin to becomes less elastic, thinner, and more likely to sag. This increases the chance of cellulite developing.