Nine Ways to Fight Cellulite

orange-measuring-tapeLet’s face it: there’s still no cure for cellulite. Nearly nine out of 10 women have some degree of cellulite, and hormones, lack of exercise and diet all contribute to its formation.

What is Cellulite?
Under your skin there’s a network of connective tissue strands called septae. Septae hold fat together, and if the septae are not tight enough, fat can bulge out between them, creating ripples on the skin’s surface—a.k.a cellulite.

Women are more likely than men to have cellulite because (in general) they have fewer and less tightly arranged septae. Genetics can also play a role. Because half the cellulite equation is fat, it would seem that losing weight through diet and exercise would help – and it might. However, the effects on cellulite depend on your skin’s elasticity. If the skin lacks the ability to bounce back after weight loss, it can sag, making the cellulite appear worse. While there is no known cure to completely banish cellulite, there are ways to help minimize its appearance.

Here are some helpful tips that have worked on my patients:

1. Avoid too much salt and sugar
Sugar gets stored in fat cells and causes them to expand, and sodium causes fluid retention, both of which can make cellulite appear worse.

2. Sprinkle flaxseed on your breakfast
Flaxseed supports estrogen levels and boosts the growth of collagen, the main component of connective tissue. Sprinkle two tablespoons of flaxseed on your favorite breakfast food or eat the seeds alone to help prevent the formation of cellulite.

3. Drink eight to 10 glasses of water daily
Water helps flush out toxins that hide in the fat layers beneath the skin. Hydration also works to plump the skin and make it look less lumpy.

4. Add kelp (seaweed) to your diet
Kelp contains fucoxanthin, an organic pigment found in plants, which helps the body burn fat. Studies show that ingesting kelp can help facilitate a five to 10 percent loss in body weight, thus reducing the appearance of cellulite. If you don’t like the taste of kelp, you can get 300 mg capsules from your local vitamin store.

5. Take gotu kola extract (one of my favorites)
Gotu kola extract has been specifically researched for its benefits in reducing cellulite and is one of the few herbs that have been successful in garnering good results. This caffeine-free supplement improves elasticity and thickens the skin, helping minimize the appearance of cellulite.

6. Use aminophylline cream
When applied to the affected area on a daily basis, this anti-cellulite cream helps break down fat in cells so it can burn easier. To supercharge this treatment, add vitamin C, which helps to build collagen.

7. Use retinol cream
Retinol is a form of vitamin A that reduces the presence of free radicals responsible for the breakdown of collagen. Retinol helps maintain skin smoothness and makes cellulite bulges less visible. Look for 100,000 IUs of vitamin A per two-ounce jar. For best results, use 100 percent retinol cream with added vitamin A, C and E.

8. Use caffeine creams
Caffeine works by breaking down fat cells and dehydrating the area where the cellulite is, tightening and firming the skin for a temporarily smooth appearance. Choose a product with about a five percent caffeine concentration.

9. Wear anti-cellulite clothing
Anti-cellulite clothing contains a bio-ceramic material that generates heat and helps break down cellulite cells. You can find anti-cellulite apparel online.

Most anti-cellulite products promise miracles in no time. As anything else, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Cellulite treatments are all about ongoing maintenance and finding out what works for you. There’s no permanent cure for cellulite, but there are ways to reduce its appearance. Don’t throw your money away on expensive products or treatments. Try one of these affordable, effective secret weapons first. If they don’t work, consult your plastic surgeon for alternatives. Just remember, there are no miracle cures. It’s all about maintenance.

Last Updated: January 19, 2022

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About Author: Pedro Rodriguez, MD

Pedro Rodriguez, MDDr. Pedro Rodriguez is a board-certified plastic surgeon at OSF Specialty Clinic – Guilford Square in Rockford, Ill.

He earned his medical degree from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in East Lansing. He completed a five-year surgical residency at SUMMA Health Systems in Akron, Ohio, and received extensive training in plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dr. Rodriguez's favorite pastime is impromptu dancing with his twin boys. He also enjoys working out, playing the acoustic guitar and fixing up the 1968 Camaro he has owned since he was 16.

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Categories: Diet & Exercise