Archive for the ‘Elderly Problems’ Category

Women Baby Boomers and Cellulite

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009


Cellulite occurs when the fat cells located beneath the skin form an unpleasant cottage-cheese like appearance, often referred to as orange-peel syndrome. An inverse relationship exists between women and cellulite. Cellulite loves women and women hate cellulite. But why is it that cellulite formation is far more obvious in the female population?

To begin with, women are born with more fat cells than men. And as if this fact isn’t enough, these fat cells are five times larger than that of the men’s. Thus a woman’s fat cells have a larger space to store more fats.

A connective tissue demarcates the space that skin cells and fat cells occupy. They serve as borders that prevent the fat cells from hitting the skin surface. This connective tissue in females is inflexible. If a lady gains weight, these fat cells enlarge and may distort the connective tissue lining. These fat cells bulge on the skin resulting in the classic orange-peel appearance. Because of the connective tissues lack of flexibility, it becomes difficult to bring it back to its original state. Alternately, a man’s connective tissue is thicker and more flexible making cellulite formation less obvious.

Estrogen, a female hormone, is observed to encourage enzymes that are responsible for an increased rate of fat production; along with other hormones like prolactin, thyroid, and insulin. Other factors that can affect cellulite production are lifestyle and diet.

Researches grade fat on levels from one to three. Grade one is detected by getting tissue samples of the subject under the microscope. The subject doesn’t show any clinical symptoms, but anatomical changes are seen under the microscope. Grade two fat levels exhibit a pale skin with decreased elasticity (upon compression or contraction) and a lower temperature, along with tissue changes. Grade three is the most recognizable to the naked eye where the orange-peel appearance is visible even in non movement states.

Cellulite reduction is a multibillion dollar industry and yet while advances have been made, most are invasive, and/or expensive. But the good news is that conservative techniques do work.
For instance, exercise and proper nutrition set the gold standard in preventing and addressing cellulite. Working out at submaximal rates for at least an hour, three times a week can get you in good shape. However, it will take a minimum of one month to achieve firming and toning of the muscles, as this is not a quick fix.
Submaximal exercises include jogging, swimming, biking or bike ergometer. Engaging in sports activities can be considered as well. Exercise should be accompanied by a healthy diet. Balance is the key to a good nutrition so make sure you still get carbohydrates in your diet in spite of the diet propaganda that encourages us to eliminate them. Never starve yourself because you only lose muscle fibers instead of fat itself.

Pharmacologic. Drugs that act on fatty acids have gained popularity in treating cellulite and indeed do show success. Treatments such as methyxanthines, pentoxifylline, piperoxan and phentolamine, and drugs with connective tissue activity like sillicium and Asiatic centella, can be taken topically, orally, or via transdermal injection and can significantly reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Alternative Medicine has boomed in the treatment of cellulite. Use of cellulite gels in herbal wraps is flourishing along with steam and massage therapies that give quick results in resolving visible orange-peel appearance, but not necessarily a long-term solution.

Cosmetic treatments can give longer effects but are rather expensive. Several promising treatments include mesotherapy, thermage, and liposuction. These procedures typically require several treatments to obtain desired results.

It may be devastating to most ladies to know that we have to live with billions of fat cells waiting to be filled up inside our bodies but it also is a relief to know that cellulite build-up can be prevented. Start living healthy!

Do you have other cellulite-busting secrets? Why not share it with us at boomeryearbook! is a social networking site connecting the Baby Boomer generation. Share your thoughts, rediscover old friends, or expand your mind with brain games provided by clinical psychologist Dr. Karen Turner. Join today to discover the many ways we are helping Boomers connect for fun and profit.