Cellulite, circulation and the lymphatic system


What is cellulite

Firstly, having cellulite is not the same as being fat, even slim people can have cellulite. So what is cellulite? Cellulite is the bulging of fat cells causing a bumpy appearance on the skin. This is informally referred to as orange peel.

To treat cellulite, it’s clear that the build up of lymph fluid needs to be prevented and blood flow to the skin needs to be improved. A well functioning lymphatic system is therefore key to the treatment or prevention of cellulite.

How is cellulite formed?

There are many factors that contribute to the formation of cellulite; here are a couple of the most important ones to consider:

Decreased elasticity of Dermis

The number of elastin and collagen fibers in the Dermis reduces with age, causing it to weaken. Poor blood circulation speeds up this process due to the lack of nutrient supply. When the Dermis is weakened enough, fat cells are able to push the skin upwards causing the appearance cellulite.

  • Stiffening of Septa

The Septa is the connective tissue separating fat cells. With poor circulation and lack of exercise it also weakens and loses its elasticity, limiting its ability to adjust to expanding fat cells. This causes the bulging effect in the middle of a fat cell, which also promotes the appearance of cellulite.

  • Fluid and toxin retention in fatty (adipose) tissue

Fluid retention can be caused by various factors but has a significant impact on cellulite formation. This fluid (called lymph fluid) builds up within the fatty tissues and causes more pressure on the Dermis and Septa. To make it worse, metabolic waste is removed with the lymph fluid, becoming toxic when stagnant, causing even more damage. If not removed, the lymph fluid can become thicker in density and resist flow even more.

Its important to note that the more fluid that builds up in fat cells the weaker the blood supply becomes over time causing a self-propelling downward spiral.

  • Poor blood flow

Blood vessels and capillaries create a transport network to keep the skin healthy. When compromised, nutrient and oxygen supply to these regions are reduced. A lack of exercise or an increase in pressure on the skin, such as sitting or wearing tight clothes can also have this effect. This state weakens the Dermis and Septa which promotes the formation of cellulite