Summary: Our bodies are funny things, and aging has an effect on them: not just because we age, but also because of the passage of time. Here’s what I mean: sometimes gravity, the sun, and the air conspire to change our bodies. It’s not necessarily because we’re aging, it’s because time is passing. One of those particular changes is something we call cellulite. Everyone dislikes cellulite, but you don’t get it necessarily because you get older: rather, cellulite develops because of an interaction between the lattice of your tissues and the fat in your body. It has little to do with how much actual fat you have on your body, and rather has more to do with how that fat behaves.

Developing Cellulite

Our bodies change as we age, and there are several major markers that seem to indicate “old” bodies: wrinkles, spotted skin, deep lines, loss of hair, and so on. But there’s another sign of age that’s less commonly talked about, even though it’s an incredibly common physical attribute: cellulite. For whatever reason, cellulite seems to be a much more sensitive topic—it seems to send a much stronger signal than wrinkles or lines. Or, to think about it another way, people tend to dislike, and be discomforted by, cellulite much more than lines or wrinkles. And that’s understandable, to a certain degree: because cellulite is associated with fat.

It’s interesting to me how we think about fatness (or fat in general) in this country. We generally tend to think of fat as a bad thing, certainly in excess. What’s funny is that a certain amount of fat in the face can actually help prevent wrinkles and lines. And even though the two are linked in a social way, there’s not a whole lot of scientific evidence linking cellulite and fat. That is, you don’t have to be overweight to develop cellulite. In fact, people of all weights develop cellulite. It’s just a natural occurrence.

What is Cellulite?

Of course, that doesn’t stop people from wanting to get rid of cellulite. But what exactly is cellulite? Well, it’s usually identified by a rippling of the skin, usually around the thighs and the hips. Cellulite disproportionally strikes women, and some think it’s because of the different structures of fat layers in men and women. Cellulite is actually caused by the way fat develops as we age. Essentially, gravity pulls fat down—but there’s a lattice of tissue that holds everything in place. As the fat seeps through that lattice, it creates a dimpling. It’s a simple interaction between fat (quite natural) and the layers of your skin (also quite natural).

But that doesn’t stop people from wanting to eliminate cellulite. And there’s a veritable market of products that claim to do jus that. In fact, it’s hard to walk through a drug store or a grocery store without running across an aisle of products and creams that are supposed to “eliminate” cellulite. The fact of the matter is that none of these creams or applications have been shown to work effectively. In fact, if you want to eliminate cellulite, you’re probably going to have to pursue a cosmetic procedure.

Non Surgical Ways to Eliminate Cellulite

Luckily, many of these procedures are non-surgical, though they do fall under the umbrella of “cosmetic surgery.” This is because most cellulite treatments, from cellulite elimination in Los Angeles to cellulite mitigation in Memphis, tend to use lasers or other energy systems. These laser systems effectively work to break down the lattice that causes the dimpling in the first place. Once that lattice is gone, the fat becomes much more smooth and the cellulite, effectively, disappears. This is possible because it’s only through the interaction between the lattice and the fat that cellulite exists at all (it’s not, for example, some kind of exotic form of fat tissue). Once the lattice is gone, the cellulite effectively disappears.

And that’s good because, for better or worse, cellulite can cause people a lot of discomfort. Yes, there are some people who are able to shrug it off, who have the confidence to wear what they want with or without cellulite. But there are others who find it difficult to be that confident with the cellulite in place. For those patients, cellulite can effect choices from wardrobe to recreation. For example, it may be exceptionally socially difficult for someone to go swimming in a public place if there is a large degree of cellulite.

Feel Better About Your Body

Cellulite treatments help patients feel better about their bodies, more confident in themselves, and have been shown to improve the quality of life of patients who undergo such procedures. This shouldn’t be surprising. Because at the end of the day, eliminating cellulite is about restoration and rejuvenation. It’s about restoring the look and feeling you had when you were younger and more youthful. It’s about rejuvenating your skin, making you feel great and healthy. For those who pursue cellulite treatments, improvements are often marked in as little as days to weeks.

And after that, those patients feel great wearing anything from short shorts to bikinis. Cellulite treatments won’t necessarily eliminate fat, but they can smooth out your skin to give you a much more youthful appearance. For many patients of these procedures, that’s what it’s all about.

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