Cellulite, a problem that also affects health

Cellulite is not exclusively an aesthetic problem. It also affects health causing severe pain and other very disabling symptoms.


It is common to consider that the presence of dimples in the thighs and buttocks is an exclusively aesthetic problem. Nothing is further from reality. On some occasions, the presence of cellulite is associated with disabling symptoms such as severe pain, inflammation and hardening of the affected body regions . It occurs in cases of edematous cellulitis. This type of cellulite is located mainly in the lower extremities, which are usually swollen and have an orange-peel appearance. Generally the legs lose their shapely shape and become thick and straight.

The good news is that this type of cellulite is the least frequent, but there is also bad news: edematous cellulite is the most difficult to eliminate . This is stated by Dr. Natalia Jiménez, a specialist in Dermatology at the Ramón y Cajal University Hospital. The expert argues that “people who suffer from edematous cellulitis have a basic circulation disorder and a tendency to retain fluids.” In fact, the appearance of this type of cellulite is associated with a malfunction of the circulatory and lymphatic systems. The latter works in parallel with the circulatory system, but, unlike it, it does not have a mechanism that allows it to work independently.

Therefore, if blood circulation has problems, the lymphatic system will also be affected, since it will not receive the impulse it needs to work efficiently and, therefore, the transit of liquids and toxins will become increasingly slow, that is, , the waste substances transported by the lymphatic system cannot be eliminated by natural means, so they thicken and stagnate in the tissues, forming the annoying cellulite. This faulty process is known as fluid retention.


When does cellulite appear and what factors aggravate it?

Edematous cellulite usually appears during the hormonal changes of adolescence and youth, but there are also cases of adults who begin to develop it due to poor blood circulation or fluid retention. According to this specialist in dermatology, there are a series of factors that aggravate the appearance of cellulite. “Currently, multiple factors are known to worsen cellulite. The main ones are: lack of rest at night, stress, sedentary lifestyle, the presence of an unbalanced diet and wearing clothes that are too tight ”, indicates the dermatologist from the Pedro Jaén Dermatology Group.

With regard to sedentary lifestyle, this expert emphasizes that the fact of maintaining the same posture, whether sitting or standing, for long periods of time, has proven to be detrimental to the formation of cellulite, since it interferes with the correct functioning of the circulatory system . Stress can also lead to the presence or worsening of cellulite . The doctor assures that stress produces an imbalance in certain neurotransmitters at the level of the central nervous system.

Regarding the diet to prevent cellulite , the doctor is emphatic: “An unbalanced diet in which fats and carbohydrates predominate produces an increase in insulin that favors the accumulation of fat. In addition, excess salt and foods rich in sodium cause fluid retention. The low fiber intake causes constipation and increases the venous resistance of the veins in the legs, which negatively influences circulation. It is also important to drink what is necessary to have adequate hydration ”.


Adopting healthy lifestyle habits: is it enough to eliminate cellulite?

To detect cellulite, a routine physical examination carried out by a specialist doctor is sufficient. “Imaging tests such as ultrasound can be performed to assess how the different treatments can modify the thickness of the localized fat,” explains Dr. Jiménez. This expert warns that, although there are multiple treatments that can be performed to improve the appearance of cellulite, all of them need an individualized medical evaluation . “Only in this way could it be determined how to proceed and explain in each case what expectations we can offer,” he explains.

And it is that, sometimes, cellulite can be eliminated by following healthy habits . This is possible as long as there is no genetic predisposition. In these cases it will be necessary to associate medical treatments to combat it, such as mesotherapy and shock waves or liposuction, which of the invasive treatments is the one that receives the most demand. “Liposuction reduces the volume of localized fat and softens the dimples associated with cellulite.”

Minimally invasive treatments, the key to cellulite

In dermatology, science advances. And it does so by listening to social concerns, so it tends to develop minimally invasive treatments that allow immediate incorporation into work and social life. Thanks to this technological advance, there is the possibility of effectively improving and even eliminating cellulite dimples in a minimally invasive way .

“To date, only invasive treatment options such as liposuction have been able to eliminate or diminish the dimples that are part of cellulite. But there are great novelties, such as Cellfina®, a minimally invasive technology that eliminates cellulite dimples ”, comments the doctor from the Pedro Jaén Clinic. However, he warns that this technique “will not produce a decrease in the amount of fat present in the thighs and buttocks; Therefore, the ideal patient will be one with an adequate and stable weight (determined by BMI, Body Mass Index), who has cellulite dimples in the absence of flabby skin.

Research studies available to date have shown that this technology allows the results obtained with a single session to be maintained for up to three years. “The intervention is performed under local anesthesia of the dimpled area to be treated, which has been previously planned and marked in photographs. Subsequently, with a handheld device that sucks the skin and fat, a thin cutting blade is introduced into the anesthetized skin, severing the fibrous tracts. In this way, as the diagram shows, the surface of the skin is smoothed, ”explains Dr. Jiménez.

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