Cellulite affects 80-90% of women over the age of 20 regardless of weight and size. Lean women are just as affected by cellulite as heavier women. It is also known by other names such as adiposis edematosa, dermopanniculosis deformans, status protrusus cutis, gynoid lipodystrophy, and orange peel syndrome.
Cellulite consists of fat cells trapped within the superficial layers of the skin. The herniation of subcutaneous fat within fibrous connective tissue presents itself on the skin surface as dimpling and nodularity. It is most often found on the buttocks, lower limbs, and abdomen, but can also affect other areas depending on individual anatomy.
The causes of cellulite can be related to changes in metabolism, physiology, hormonal factors, genetic factors, the microcirculatory system and lifestyle. A high-stress lifestyle can increase the level of catecholamines, which have been associated with the development of cellulite. In addition, certain dieting practices can lower the level of these chemicals.
The psychological effects of this condition can be quite severe, causing major body image issues. For some women, it strictly limits wardrobe selection and causes embarrassment during summer months.
The only way to treat cellulite and smooth it out is to disrupt the connective tissue bands that hold the fat cells in place. This allows the fat cells to settle into the deeper layers, making the skin to appear smoother and more even.