Have you ever developed cellulite in your thighs, abdomen, arms, breasts or buttocks? Have you experienced stretch marks on various parts of your body? If you have, you will know how ugly they (cellulite and stretch marks) look and how depressing it feels to have them. Generally, poor blood circulation, impaired lymphatic drainage, fluid retention and reduced venous flows trigger subcutaneous cells to turn into cellulite. The cellulite accumulates in certain areas of your body giving it a flabby, obese look.
The skin in the process gets stretched, in order to accommodate the underneath flesh (with the cellulite added). As a result, skin proteins like elastin and collagen are lost. This creates stretch marks on that part of the skin.
Let us now look into the primary causes of cellulite and stretch marks.
If you have inherited excess fat cells, weak lymphatic vessels and poor vein structure, chances are that you will suffer from cellulite formation. Poor circulation of blood and other body fluids, as well as hormonal sensitivity are other inherent features which can cause cellulite.
Much as it may sound disconnected, high stress levels and increased surge of adrenaline in veins can also help in the formation of cellulite.
Have you ever observed that cellulite is a problem more prevalent in women than in men. This is because, firstly, the fibrous septae structure is more entangled and mesh-like in women than it is in men, where it is smooth. This makes the structure more prone to trapping fat cells and forming cellulite. Secondly, the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone stimulate development of cellulite. Estrogen determines the quantity and location of fat cells and encourages cellulite to grow around thighs, breasts and buttocks. Progesterone leads to fluid retention in veins and increases weight.
During pregnancy, there is a surge of hormones and high retention of body fluids. The hormones weaken tissues in the body, especially the ones present in walls of vessels and veins.
Pelvic surgery and liposuction
Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery which helps you get rid of cellulite. In reality, it does so only temporarily. Gradually with time, the capillaries and the nymph vessels get damaged (primarily because of the surgery). Hence, when the effect of the surgery wears down, cellulite starts developing again with greater impetus since there is reduced microcirculation. Pelvic surgery can also disrupt the lymphatic system and form fibrous scar tissues producing cellulite.
This does not necessarily mean that cellulite follows obesity, since skinny people are also not immune to cellulite formation. But the probability of an obese person developing cellulite is more. This is because excess fat shoves the cellulite in the subcutaneous layer upward making the cellulite even, more prominent.
Some other factors that contribute towards cellulite and consequently stretch marks are smoking, passive lifestyle, harsh massages and enlarged lymph nodules. If you have a genetically weak structure that is not very resistant to cellulite, there is little you can do. However you can definitely manage the other factors and ensure that you do not invite cellulite and the ugly stretch marks that it leaves behind.