In the Middle Ages, cellulite was portrayed as a symbol of one’s status in society. For women, it reflected their ability to conceive and thereby making them more attractive to men. The perception of beauty in the Middle Ages was evident in Medieval art pieces.
Fast forward to the modern world, both men and women fight a constant battle to get rid of excess fats and bulges on the arms and belly. Many women try a myriad of creams and treatments to try to get rid of the orange-peel appearances.
Cellulite is a condition that affects as many as 90 percent of women and 15 percent of men in developed countries. In a fat-shaming society we live in today, getting rid of cellulite has become a multi-million dollar business where people try to find ways to dissolve these nuisance bumpy appearance on the skin.
Despite the vast amounts of time and money that have gone into trying to find ways to effectively reduce cellulite, doctors and researchers are still unable to agree on a method that is clinically-proven to banish them.
One of the most common questions doctors with regard to cellulite is whether anti-cellulite creams work. We decide to seek the opinion of Dr. Siew Tuck Wah, Medical Director of Radium Medical Aesthetics, who will tell us more about cellulite and whether cellulite creams work.
What is cellulite?
Cellulite is the bumpy fat deposits that usually appear on the thighs, legs, buttocks, and tummy. As women approach menopausal age, estrogen level starts to decrease. A drop in estrogen level decreases blood circulation in the arms, buttocks, and legs. With less oxygen and nutrients to the area, collagen production also dips. At this time, fat cells become larger and protrude from the skin surface.
Why do more women get cellulite than men?
The reason why significantly more women get cellulite than men because of the structure of collagen and connective tissues in women are placed parallel to each other, whereas in men they are placed in a crisscross fashion.
A crisscross structure is much stronger and hold fat in better than if they are placed parallel to each other. If there is excess fat between the skin and the connective tissues, the fat cells protrude into the pockets of the connective tissues, giving rise to appearance of cellulite.
How effective are cellulite creams?
According to Dr. Siew, there is no scientific evidence that cellulite creams are effective in getting rid of cellulite or reducing its appearance.
Cellulite is caused by the natural anatomic structure of a women’s body. There is no cream that can reduce cellulite permanently through topical application.
Some cellulite creams seem to work temporarily because they are essentially moisturisers that plumps up the surrounding skin to even out the orange-peel complexion – temporarily. It gives people the impression that the miracle cream works. However, the bumps will show again after a couple of hours.
Destroying the fat cells permanently
In order to get rid of cellulite from the body, there are two areas we need to address: To reduce the fatty deposits in the area and to increase the blood circulation to the area.
FATTY DEPOSITS This means that the first step to reducing cellulite is to reduce the fat tissues in the body. Going on a diet, increasing the intensity of your exercises, and watching your food intake are effective ways to slim down.
Losing weight did not become a challenge until the late 1980s when the quality of life in industralized nations improved rapidly. Our lives got better, machines were invented to reduce physical activity levels. We need to set aside dedicated time to exercise and closely monitor our diet.
Even though with a strict diet and regular exercise, it can sometimes be impossible to get rid of some stubborn fatty deposits in some areas such as love handles, tummy and arms. Fat freeze treatment is a non-surgical procedure that selectively kills the fat cells in your body. It is a much safer alternative as compared to liposuction.
INCREASE BLOOD CIRCULATION Increasing blood circulation in targeted areas of the body can be achieved with shockwave therapy. It is a non-surgical treatment that is used widely by many medical disciplines, especially sports medicine. It is often used to treat chronic pain in joints and restore mobility.
In recent years, doctors also discovered that shockwave treatment can effectively reduce the appearance of cellulite because the repetitive action of delivering shockwave induces blood circulation and breaks down the fibrous tissues in the body.