Cellulite – What Is It And What Treatments Work Best?

Cellulite – All women know what this is, right? Yet there is great disagreement and some controversy in the medical community as to what it is and whether or not it is actually a real thing, a real diagnosis! The WebMD website says that “its name makes it sound like a medical condition”! Well, this “non-medical” condition seriously affects and deeply troubles some 80- 90% of adult women! Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent each year trying to treat it. If all that doesn’t qualify cellulite as a true condition worthy of respect and attention by our physicians then something’s very wrong! Even so, there are many scary sounding “medical condition” names which have been applied to what we commonly call cellulite including adiposis edematosa, dermopanniculosis deformans, status protrusus cutis, and gynoid lipodystrophy. Common nicknames for cellulite include orange peel syndrome, cottage cheese skin, quilted mattress skin, and seat cushion skin.

Multiple “causes” have been implicated (including genetic) but we still don’t really know for sure. Cellulite is rarely seen in men – is it a hormonally linked condition? Why does cellulite predominantly affect the abdomen, buttocks and thighs – why these areas? No one knows but it does suggest a hormonal mediated mechanism; reminiscent of stretch marks (striae atrophica) and their common areas of distribution – remarkably similar! Cellulite also seems to appear during hormonally active periods in women’s lives – adolescence, pregnancy, and menopause.

Most of us, doctors and patients alike, would recognize Whole Melt Extracts Live Resincellulite to be a dimpled, puckered, irregular appearing skin surface affecting lar ge areas. Dimples may be cute on the face, but not on your thighs! The thighs, especially the outer thighs, seem to be the most commonly affected areas. At the microscopic level we know that something is happening to the architecture of the skin causing it to appear uneven, puckered and so unappealingly unsmooth. There seems to be a pseudoherniation (a bulging out without a true bulging through) of the superficial subcutaneous fat poking nearly through the tight fibrous connective tissue bands (which are supposed to act as retaining walls for the fat) underneath the skin. We see the sum total of all these bulges as an overall lumpy, bumpy look to the surface of the skin. It is very reminiscent of the way pillow material bulges in between the buttons of a seat cushion!

Doctors studying this dimpling phenomenon also recognized that depending on its severity, body position could also affect the appearance of cellulite. In 1978, the Nurnburger-Muller Scale was published:

The Nurnburger-Muller Scale(1978) for Cellulite Classification:

0 – no visible dimpling

1 – dimpling visible on pinch/squeeze only

2 – dimpling visible on standing only (not when lying down)

3 – dimpling always present/visible (whether standing or lying down)

There are a multitude of “options ” available for treating cellulite today. A recent Google search on “treatments for cellulite” revealed 1.4 million hits! But do any of them really work? Dr. Molly Wanner (noted Harvard dermatologist) said “there is no treatment for cellulite”. Noted dermatologist Michael McGuire of UCLA concurred (NY Times article, 2009).

Weight loss and strength training should help, but are not always the answer! Cellulite is not always associated with being overweight or out of shape. Skinny or overweight – you can still have cellulite. Many slender women in great shape are plagued with cellulite.



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