Sometimes it has been questioned that the appearance of body fat may vary. Cellulite is a skin alteration described as a ‘dimpling’ appearance on the thighs, buttocks and sometimes lower abdomen of otherwise healthy women and occasionally men. The outermost layer of skin is referred to as your epidermis under which is the dermis. These are thicker in men compared to women and for this reason uneven fat distribution is more visible in females compared to males. The dermis is filled with hair follicles, sweat glands, blood vessels, nerve receptors and connective tissue. Underneath the dermis is subcutaneous fat which as emphasised before is the main focus of a fat loss programme. Subcutaneous fat is further divided in three levels. The uppermost level of subcutaneous fat can sometimes be uneven causing a dimpling or uneven appearance on the epidermis.
Individuals who have more fat will have a greater chance of displaying cellulite though lean individuals may also show dimpling. As we age the skin and the connective tissue between the layers begins to loosen allowing stored adipose tissue to protrude in to the dermis. Limitations to fluid movement and drainage as well as limitations in blood flow may contribute to the appearance of cellulite although reasons for its predominance vary. Treatments such as liposuction which removes adipose tissue does not help the appearance of cellulite as the problem lies in the connective tissue and the way that the body distributes fat. Quite simply liposuction may make the problem worse.
Varied research exists for the treatment of cellulite. Aminophylline, caffeine and theophyilline are members of a group of biochemical’s known as methyxanthines present in many cellulite creams. These biological agents can enhance the body’s ability to breakdown stored fat when applied topically to the skin. Studies have shown a small reduction in thigh girth when using these creams. Varying other interventions such as herbal treatments and massage have been suggested as being beneficial though no discernable evidence exists for long term improvement of cellulite.