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Who invented cellulite, how to deal with it and whether it should be done: experts debunk myths

'07.05.2022'

A source: Spletnik

Cellulite occurs in approximately 80-98% of women and a much smaller percentage of men. Spletnik.ru decided to delve into the history of the issue and understand the nature of this phenomenon, and experts have debunked popular myths about the "orange peel".

Photo: Shutterstock

According to doctors, the term "cellulite" in medicine means inflammation of the subcutaneous fat and requires treatment. And the phenomenon that in everyday life we ​​are used to calling cellulite, in most cases, is a secondary female sex characteristic that does not affect the health of the body as a whole.

Half a century ago, no one in the world had even heard of cellulite, let alone considered it a problem that needed to be addressed immediately. Today we spend thousands if not billions (globally) on anti-cellulite treatments and products. It is important to understand that cellulite is normal, and it occurs even in professional athletes. However, the desire to reduce its manifestations and smooth out the relief is also an absolutely normal process: all points of view are good if they lead to harmony of body and mind. In other words, if the bumps are still annoying, then you can smooth them out, but you should not be led by the imposed stereotypes and compare yourself with photoshopped to unrealistic proportions models on Instagram.

История вопроса

In April 1968, Vogue became the first English-language edition to use the term "cellulite" on its pages. This word was originally coined in France. It was first mentioned in the 1873 French Medical Dictionary by the physicians Émile Littre and Charles-Philippe Robin. This was the first use of the term, according to Professor Rossella Gigi, whose dissertation on the history of cellulite is perhaps the most detailed and complete work ever written on the subject.

However, the initial (and accurate) definition of cellulite had nothing to do with fat. It was a general term applied to cells or tissues in a state of inflammation or infection. It denoted the diagnosis that is still being used (and also has nothing to do with dimples on the buttocks). It is a deep inflammatory lesion of the skin and subcutaneous tissue, accompanied by redness, swelling and pain. Cellulite is usually caused by bacterial flora - group A streptococci and adhering Staphylococcus aureus.

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The term “cellulite” quickly migrated from medical textbooks to the mainstream lexicon around the turn of the century, losing its true meaning along the way. It began to be considered a disadvantage in the interwar years - it was then that Paris consolidated its title of capital of fashion. Professor Holly Grout explores this phenomenon in her book The Power of Beauty: The Transformation of French Femininity in the Third Republic, which states that the first of France's legendary beauty institutes opened in 1895, and many others soon followed. A lot of new specialists, dermatologists, massage therapists and even doctors have appeared in beauty salons.

“There were no clear boundaries between beauty, science, medicine and health. Today it can be called the health industry,” he concluded.

As often happens during a war, many traditional gender roles have disappeared. When men went to the front, an increasing number of women had to become independent. They got high-paying jobs in industries that were traditionally dominated by men.

After the war, Grout says, a new archetype of modern femininity arose: the woman was self-sufficient and free from the constraints of class inequality. More women began to work, more women began to appear in the media, in advertising and on stage.

“They started talking actively about cellulite from the 20s. Then for some time the world was not up to the female buttocks, and truly marketers took up this new niche in America in the 1970s, ”says Yulia Shuvalova, cosmetologist, dermatovenerologist at the Gen87 Innovation Cosmetology Clinic.

The term "cellulite" became widely discussed after the publication of an article in the French magazine Votre Beauté in February 1933. In it, Dr. Debeck called cellulite a combination of water, toxins, and fat that is almost impossible to get rid of. In addition, he added, this is a purely “women's” problem.

Why he chose this term, we will never know. Cellulite used to be, of course, not considered the thing to get rid of. Just look at almost all the paintings of the XVII century. Painters such as Rembrandt, Rubens and Courbet admired the unevenness on the female buttocks, hips and stomach. But after an article in 1933, French spas began to advertise treatments for getting rid of cellulite, including special soaps, massages and cosmetics.

“The new canons of female beauty that emerged at the beginning of the First World War became full-fledged beauty standards after the Second World War: the hourglass figure came into fashion, and the ladies pulled themselves into corsets to emphasize their thin waist.

“The boom in facial cosmetics came a little earlier, in the 50s, when American women began to actively go to work, which obliged them to look young and fresh. Since the mid-1960s, miniskirts have appeared, and with them the opportunity to examine your own and other people's legs. The logical step in the development of the beauty industry was the “anti-cellulite” bombardment of women’s heads,” notes Gen87 expert.

And the retouching of photos in gloss to the perfect skin tone completely destroyed the criterion of the normality of the presence of relief on the hips.

“Comparison of oneself with a glossy ideal two-dimensional picture often does not add confidence, which is why the more real un-retouched photographs appear in the information field, the more harmonious the attitude to the body of women will be,” Yulia Shuvalova is sure.

Screenshot: Tara Michelle / YouTube

Then, in the 1960s, diets became fashionable. Even now, Fishler notes, thinness is considered a personal achievement for some.

“To be in shape and to be slim is still considered by some to be a matter of self-discipline, dedication, courage,” he says.

“A curvaceous figure was once a sign of wealth and accumulation of energy in the body, but after the Second World War, it began to be considered a “useless load”. Obesity has now become a symbol of weakness, laziness and even immorality. This is a personal failure,” the researcher writes.

So a new standard of female beauty is rooted in the Western world.

"Cellulite: The Fat You Couldn't Get Rid Of Before," ran the headline of a 1968 Vogue article introducing the concept to American women.

The article told about a young woman who was able to get rid of cellulite through exercise, diet and special self-massage. In 1973, enterprising New York beauty salon owner Nicole Ronsard published Cellulite: Those Lumps, Bumps, and Bumps You Couldn't Get Rid of Before. She actively advertised the services of her salon, which in the end turned out to be ineffective. After that, the myth of cellulite took root in the minds of women, along with the invented causes of its occurrence and miraculous cures.

What is cellulite

Let's start with what constitutes subcutaneous fatty tissue (SFA). It consists of "balls", "ovals" (of different diameters), pierced by blood and lymphatic vessels, nerves. From above it is covered with skin, which is structurally much denser, especially in the upper layers, and consists of cells of more or less equal size. That is, the dense skin covers the soft cellular layer.

“Accordingly, the more magnificent the subcutaneous fat in a person, the more tubercles and dimples on the skin. If we have a person with overweight (body mass index - 25-30) or with obesity, for example, of the first degree (body mass index - more than 30), then where the greatest deposits of PFA are (usually the thighs, abdomen, buttocks, shoulder), the skin will be the most uneven, with an abundance of tubercles and dimples,” explains Maria Selikhova, head of the women’s health expert center, obstetrician-gynecologist, endocrinologist, hemostasiologist at the REMEDI clinic.

According to statistics, almost 90% of women have cellulite. Despite hundreds of studies, there are many myths about what it is, what causes it, and how to get rid of it. We asked the experts to debunk them.

Myth: cellulite is not ordinary fat.

To begin with, cellulite is not a medical term. What we used to call cellulite is a layer of fat, enclosed in “cells” formed by fibers. They connect the skin to deep tissues. Anastasia Tselischeva, cosmetologist and body correction specialist at the LazerJazz clinic, explains that when fat cells increase in volume, these “cells” become more pronounced.

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However, according to the results of studies, normal subcutaneous fat and pancreatic fat taken from the cellulite zone are identical in their structure.

“Although cellulite is not a disease, the current fashion for perfect even skin causes numerous complexes in women and stimulates them to search for various methods of dealing with it,” the expert says.

Myth: cellulite only happens in women.

Why does the “orange peel” on the thighs occur mainly in women, although it also occurs in men? It's all about the particular structure of the female subcutaneous fat and the presence of the hormone estrogen. It promotes the accumulation of fat in the buttocks and thighs. That is why cellulite is not limited to overweight women.

"The structural, physiological and hormonal regulation of subcutaneous fat in women suggests a greater tendency to accumulate fat than in men, as female adipocytes have a greater number of receptors responsible for lipogenesis," says Gen87 expert.

However, the more fat in the "cells", the more noticeable these cells. Also, with insufficient blood circulation in this area, fluid accumulates, which aggravates the situation.

Myth: the appearance of cellulite provokes toxins in our body.

Some cellulite remedies are aimed at removing toxins from the body. However, their effectiveness is not confirmed by science. According to dermatologist from New York Cheryl Karcher, connective tissue can be weakened by hormones, lack of exercise and muscle tone, excess fat and poor blood circulation, but certainly not the accumulation of toxins.

Myth: cellulite appears only in those who are not in shape

Indeed, the more fat under the skin, the more likely it is to stress the connective tissue and cellulite will become more visible. However, the so-called orange peel occurs in women of all shapes and sizes, even Victoria's Secret models who are very thin, exercise a lot and eat right.

Screenshot: The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2016 / YouTube

“It is not necessary to be overweight and a large accumulation of body fat in order to have cellulite. But in addition to the aesthetic aspect, it is very important to understand that overweight carries an additional burden on the cardiovascular system. And in general, the quality of life of an obese person is deteriorating. Cellulite is not harmful to health. The canons of beauty in different eras are different, but the principles of health are practically unchanged, ”says Nino Bigvava-Abbas, dermatocosmetologist at Bellefontaine Clinic.

As for pregnancy, during this period the number of sex hormones and their receptors increases sharply.

“With an increase in gestation, stagnation in the subcutaneous fat (fluid retention) progresses. Accordingly, cellulite in women in the situation is explained physiologically, ”notes Maria Selikhova.

Myth: cellulite appears when there are dairy products.

In fact, everything is very individual. Some people dairy products can contribute to the development of cellulite, while others do not. After a certain age, the body of some people ceases to absorb milk, while others enjoy it until they are very old.

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Sweet, like other foods that contribute to the accumulation of fat, can affect. A sweet, fatty, starchy, sedentary lifestyle exacerbate cellulite, but the cause of the appearance of cellulite is a structural feature of pancreatic fatty acid and estrogen, the expert notes.

Myth: a predisposition to cellulite is transmitted genetically

But on this score, the opinions of experts differ. Some people think that even a genetic test can show a predisposition to cellulite. Genetics, on the other hand, is just one small part of the whole puzzle. Factors such as diet, exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight also play a role.

“I have not heard that scientists have identified a specific gene responsible for cellulite. But if we remember that cellulite, “orange peel”, is an external manifestation of the processes occurring in the body (for example, lymph stagnation due to structural features of the body, hormonal disruptions and changes), then it is quite obvious that these and other factors can be transmitted through inheritance,” says the dermatologist and cosmetologist at the Bellefontaine clinic.

Myth: skin-strengthening creams will help get rid of cellulite.

The appearance of cellulite is preceded by various factors, such as hormonal failure or lymph stagnation (genetic predisposition, lifestyle). And it would be somewhat naive to believe that one miraculous cream will save you from cellulite. But, of course, well-chosen home care will preserve and enhance the effect of salon procedures.

Studies have shown that creams or scrubs with caffeine, ginger, green or black tea can also (keyword!) help by improving circulation and breaking down fat cells.

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Methods of prevention

An integrated approach is important for the prevention of cellulite. For example, massages can be done not on a course, but on a regular basis. According to doctors, with regular massage, the flow of lymph and blood improves, this has a beneficial effect on the whole body as a whole and significantly affects the appearance of the skin.

“Mesotherapy works very well together with hardware cosmetology. We must not forget about the wraps; microcurrents - course procedure; contrast shower - for general toning of the body and improvement of blood flow, ”advises Nino Bigvava-Abbas.

Methods of struggle

  • Sport

The first thing that comes to mind is sports. It really helps to reduce the severity of cellulite, provided that the person will lose weight, no matter what the load is: cardio or strength exercises. The main thing is to reduce the volume of fatty acids.

  • Hardware Procedures

“The most popular anti-cellulite treatments are LPG, anti-cellulite massage, body wraps. These procedures improve blood flow in the tissues, which helps to remove excess fluid and improve skin quality. Due to these two effects, cellulite will indeed become less noticeable. However, these procedures do not solve the problem itself, because the fat still remains in the same volume in its place, ”comments the LazerJazz expert.

“To love your body and be grateful to it, you need to take care of it, give yourself proper sleep, nutrition and exercise,” advises Gen87 expert.

  • Injections

Mesotherapy with lipolytic cocktails provides an improvement in blood flow, a decrease in fatty acids and skin tightening. This procedure can reduce the symptoms of cellulite, but there are disadvantages - soreness and possible bruising.

  • Massage

Massage is one of the most effective and important techniques that works out not only the skin and subcutaneous fat, but also the muscles and ligaments. You can do it yourself or trust a specialist. What is also important is the massage.

Screenshot: Studs | Women's Magazine / YouTube

Massage can be general or local - special emphasis is placed on certain areas. To obtain and consolidate positive results, the masters recommend undergoing massages in a course with a three-four-day interval, combining it with a special Thai massage technique and wraps (for example, algae wraps with live kelp).

Self-massage with a brush made of natural bristles (cactus or boar bristles) or drybrushing will also not be superfluous. It should be done only on dry skin before taking a shower. Starting from the feet, we go up the legs with rubbing movements upwards (we go through each area 10 times). Then, in a circular motion, we “process” the knees (it is better not to touch the area under the knee), hips, buttocks, stomach, sides, do not forget about the hands and forearms. The most delicate area is from the shoulder to the center of the neckline. Movements should be smooth and gentle. After the massage (it takes 10-15 minutes), take a shower and apply a moisturizing lotion or oil.

The material is published for educational purposes and is not a recommendation. ForumDaily Woman is not responsible for any diagnosis made by the reader based on the materials of the site, as well as for the consequences of self-medication, and may not share the point of view of the author or expert.

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