Cellulite Treatment Options, Basic Facts, and Grades

Close up of woman buttocks with cellulite

Cellulite is the bane of every girl who wants to show off in a bikini on the beach while sipping a refreshing cocktail. Alas, it happens regardless of age, diet or body build. That’s how we are made – blame it on nature. And because we want to look good, if not perfect, we reach for all kinds of magic cures to get rid of those orange peels. To make things a little easier for you, we’ve narrowed down the endless choice of cellulite treatments to a good few. Check out everything you need to know about the condition and what affects it so that you get an idea of what will work best to battle it.

Cellulite Basics

Let’s start with the basics.

What is cellulite?

Illustration of skin cross section showing cellulite

This is a harmless condition of the skin that creates dimples or lumps on the surface, which makes the flesh appear less youthful and fresh. It affects the buttocks and thighs to a great extent.

Contrary to what many people think, slender individuals are not safe from developing orange-peel skin. Until recently it was believed that only overweight people get it but that is definitely not the case. The reason behind this lies in the fact that cellulite is more than a mass of fat cells distributed in the wrong places. It’s the structure of that fat that matters.

Why do women get it almost exclusively?

We learn from an early age that there are biological differences between the male and female bodies. One of them is how the fat cells and connective tissue are distributed under the skin. In women, they are positioned vertically for which reason they meet each other at a right angle.

In men, however, these tissues sit horizontally lying flat against each other rather than meeting at an angle. Girls also have a larger number of fat cells than guys. Because of these structural dissimilarities, the fat cells in ladies are much more likely to show through from under the skin and become visible.

What are the different stages of cellulite?

And just like any condition or disease, there are several grades of cellulite based on its severity. Although it’s not official, it can be divided into three or four main levels (everybody uses different scales to measure it). If you are at 0, it means you have nothing to worry about. Here is a breakdown of the other stages.

  • Grade 1: There are visible dermal indentions when you squeeze the flesh. The skin may appear dimpled when sitting, but no orange peels emerge when standing. This stage is typically present in girls under the age of 30. It is possible to fight it off by limiting alcohol intake, drinking more fluids, and increasing the amount of exercise you do. This will improve the blood flow around the targeted areas and add to better-looking thighs and bottom.
  • Grade 2: Dimples show on the surface both when you are sitting and standing. It usually happens to women between 30 and 35 but is not exclusive to them. They may lack exercise or a proper diet. And in some, pregnancy can be the biggest culprit. If you are on the pill, it will help if you shift to non-hormonal contraception. Also, following the tips from Grade 1 will influence the results a great deal.
  • Grade 3: The dimples are more pronounced and intense, always protruding from the skin regardless of whether you are sitting or standing. It affects women above the age of 35 who have had children, especially those over 40. Needless to say, the condition can get significantly worse after menopause. Deep-tissue massages and various in-office procedures might be able to reduce the baleful appearance of dermal indentions but not fully blast it away.

As you can imagine, the higher the stage, the more difficult it is to treat the condition.

Possible Cellulite Treatments

Procedure removing cellulite

Now, before we get into the actual treatments, we feel like we have to point out that cellulite cannot be cured fully. Yes, there may be periods of remission but it will always come back. The good news is that with the help of modern technologies and medicine, you can minimise it and make it less evident. It doesn’t matter it is there when you or anyone else can’t see it, right?

We spoke to Cambridge Therapeutics about the different therapies that can be applied and here is what they shared.

Manual manipulation

As the name implies, this procedure entails treating the dimpled skin by hand and generally involves a massage that incorporates gentle pressure. The way it works is, it improves circulation and helps drains excess fluid around the targeted area. It is also suggested that the force the therapist applies to the skin damages the cells in a way they can realign and rebuild so that the layers look smoother.

Lasers

Lasers are used for a number of ailments and conditions because they have proven to be effective. When it comes to cellulite, small blasts of light are delivered into the superfluous layers of the skin to thicken the tissue and break up the rest of it. It takes some time for the patients to recover after the appointment and they can have another session after a few weeks.

Radio frequency

Here, thermal energy is sent straight to the skin using tiny electrodes. It stimulates collagen to grow and replace the damaged cells. This cellulite treatment can integrate with other procedures such as laser therapy to produce better results. Additional energies might be used to increase the power and efficiency of the manipulation. This includes vacuum suction and infrared light, to name a few.

Subcision

It is often used to remove scars caused by acne but it can also work for cellulite. It involves some surgery during which a specialist inserts a small needle underneath the skin with the ultimate goal to break the fibrous bands. A local anaesthetic helps to eliminate the pain and discomfort. The first few days afterwards the treated area will be bruised.

Acoustic wave therapy

The manipulation is suitable for fat accumulations and orange-peel skin on the abdomen, outer and inner thighs, knees, hips, saddlebags, and buttocks. It entails bombarding the skin with low-frequency sound waves in order to boost circulation. It helps to not only open the blood vessels in the treated area but also promote new growth. The outcome is obvious a couple of weeks after the procedure.

Final Thoughts

And while it doesn’t hurt to give different therapies a go so you are sure you’ve tried everything, don’t get obsessed with it. If you develop cellulite, quite possibly it will stay with you for life. But if you learn to accept it, you will reduce the need to treat it and you’ll feel much better about it overall. More importantly, don’t throw away your money on treatments if you see no results. If it works, that’s great, keep it going. But if it doesn’t, it may be time to acknowledge and embrace the ripples in your skin as being part of your body.

If you’d like to know more about cellulite treatments in Singapore, I’ve left the contact information of the experts we spoke to below.

Cambridge Therapeutics
391B Orchard Rd #08-05A2 Tower B Ngee Ann City,
Singapore 238874
+65 6733 6729