Problems with Cellulite?
Get help for orange peel skin and thick legs
Cellulite, commonly referred to as orange peel skin, is a common women’s “condition”. Often, it is accompanied by yet another symptom picture – lipedema: swelling of the fatty tissue.
It’s a problem that can drive women to despair: The skin of the upper arms, hips, and upper thighs exhibits unpleasant pockets of orange-peel skin. It may even present itself as waves or humps, like a stitched up mattress. So how does a once firm apple transform into a rough-skinned orange-peel?
It is because the fat chambers in a woman’s skin have a higher storage capacity for fat cells compared to that of men. The difference is that in women, the connective tissue runs vertically, perpendicular to the skin. Because of this, these fibrous bands tether the skin to the underlying tissue at certain points, essentially creating discrete “fat chambers” to push up on the skin while the bands pull the skin downward. The more the fat storage is filled, the more it will bulge towards the dermis and epidermis.
The degree of a person’s cellulite can be determined by the well-known “Pinch test”: For example, if you pinch your upper arm or thigh, or if you bulge a section of skin with two fingers, you will not only see creases and grooves, but also much more pronounced pockets of orange-peel skin.
Women have larger fat chambers under the skin than men. If you press the skin together, then they become obvious. In men, the chambers are smaller and arranged in a cross-hatched or diagonal manner, in a smooth and continuous pattern. When pressing the skin together, the tension is transferred to the deeper lying tissue.
What exactly is Cellulite?
Q: Does Cellulite affect every woman? Or is it the genes that make us more vulnerable to being affected by it?
A: One single gene is probably not responsible, but rather a predisposition of many factors that are combined. First of all, there is the connective tissue. Most commonly you will find soft connective tissue in women that have overstretched joints and are abnormally flexible. This means that you do not inherit the cellulite, but rather the stretchy connective tissue from your
father or mother.
Q: Being overweight probably also plays an important factor in Orange-peel skin?
A: Yes, certainly. The connective tissue, the basic structure of our body, is found also under the skin. The structure you inherited will become more prominent with weight increase. It makes fat cells visible that would normally not have been visible.
Q: What other factors could contribute to the development of cellulite?
A: A further factor is the state of the epidermis. The thicker it is, the more favourable it is because the fat cell is less visible. With age, the skin becomes thinner, which brings out the cellulite. Cellulite will show up out of nowhere, which is all part of the normal process. If more fluid collects in the connective tissue, then the orange-peel pockets will become more obviously noticeable.
Overweight people who have weak connective tissue are at high risk for developing cellulite and lipedema.
Lymph drainage has been proven to mobilize the skin, connective tissue and lymph.
TIPS FOR PREVENTION AND TREATMENT
Q: What can you do when cellulite begins already in adolescence?
A: The most important thing to consider is avoiding weight gain. Also, I can’t emphasize enough: Women should stay active. Keep your skin fit and enable good circulation (e.g.
cellulite brush). On top of these preventative measures, watch also the health of your veins, making sure that the valves of the veins stay intact. If they aren’t, then wear compression
stockings. Nowadays there’s a good selection of very nice looking ones available.
Q: There are many products that are on the market, that are often declared as being “clinically proven” to help with cellulite.
A: “Clinically proven” means that the product has been examined in a clinic. This does not mean that the product has been proven effective. There is a study, which shows that caffeine-containing products have certain effectiveness against cellulite. Products containing collagen that supply moisture to the skin could potentially be effective as well.
Q: A vast number of women suffer from edema in the legs. Does regular lymphatic drainage help with this?
A: Lymphatic drainage is great and works well for widely distributed edemas and lymphedemas. It is also suitable as a preventative measure. However, the prognosis is relatively unfavourable for more advanced lymphedemas.
Brush massages keep the skin on the thighs robust and strong.
CELLULITE AND DIGESTION- WHAT TO PAY ATTENTION TO
Q: Does your diet play a positive factor in the production of cellulite?
A: Diet does play an important role, especially when it comes to fluid storage of the tissues. A lot of women suffering from morning swelling- swollen eyes or fingers- have irritable bowel syndrome. They complain of gas, excessive gurgling of the stomach, constipation or constipation and diarrhea in alternation. Women will often say, “In the evening my stomach is twice the size that it was in the morning, everything stretches.” It is important to know here that the intestinal tract is strongly connected to the lymphatic system. Adults
have around 600 lymph nodes, 200 of which belong to the digestive tract. In addition, there are many lymph cells. The intestines, by the way, swell up much more than does the skin. They also carry a large amount of bacteria, which could be compared to a fermenting container. Your body uses many defense mechanisms in order to avoid adverse health effects.
Q: Is your defense mechanism less helpful when your intestines are irritated?
A: More lymphatic fluid is established when the intestines are irritated. Patients suffering from the mentioned swelling should strongly consider changing their diet. This means
that specifically the person’s intestines are relieved during a particular time. For about two or three weeks, observe a bland diet consisting mostly of porridge, oatmeal, and also potato soup. This oatmeal or soup diet should be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Q: That doesn’t necessarily sound enticing! The bland diet must have good health reasons?
A: First of all, you lose weight because you feel very full with this low calorie diet. Also, the digestive tract is being spared. These two aspects of the diet provide a noticeable amount of water loss. This self-help diet is one of the most effective. Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome cannot tolerate raw or fresh foods such as crispy salads, whole wheat products, and raw vegetables-as they can cause flatulence.
The intestines can be relieved with light vegetable soups – this is beneficial for the skin too. In stubborn cases, a soup, oatmeal and porridge diet can help.
WHEN THE SUMMER’S HEAT IS THE PROBLEM
Q: Extreme heat can be torture for women with cellulite, as particularly their legs can swell up. They redden and get itchy even when wearing support stockings.
A: The vessels and arteries dilate during the heat. As a result, there is excess discharge of fluid therefore increased pressure in the connective tissue. Fluid and protein cannot really drain. In the long run the skin becomes hardened, and the congestion irritates the nerves running through the skin. This is what causes pain and itching. In this situation, the woman is more prone to bruising as any impact will rupture the vessels and cause more pain.
Q: What can you do about this?
A: Other than wearing compression stockings and using cold applications, I recommend you have a healthy diet and partake in the previously mentioned bland diet for one week, as it brings major relief.
HOW NATURAL REMEDIES CAN HELP
Encouraging blood flow and the removal of fat are the most important factors towards the treatment of cellulite. Also, the walls of the veins should be strengthened.
The active ingredients in the grape vine help promote the elasticity of the vessels and help prevent the development of edema. Also, buckwheat will help strengthen the walls
of the veins and prevent edema from occurring. The same applies to witch hazel.
Some Naturopaths like giving the Greek wild plant cystus. A tea made from the cystus plant can help with digestive problems that have also been linked to edema. Using a cystus
decoction in your bath water helps protect the skin and wounds. To prepare the tea: pour boiling water over tea leaves, and let steep for 5 minutes. Directions for
using a Cystus decoction for the bath: Take one handful of Cystus-herbs (approx. 10g) and add to a saucepan. Add ½-1L of water. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
Attention: Medicinal herb teas with a draining impact should be used reasonably and only during a specific time. Diuretics are not advisable for cellulitis and particularly edemas, as their effectiveness is only short-lived and then everything plateaus again. Also, side effects could develop at the same time, most commonly a potassium deficiency.
Homeopathic remedies supporting the liver support also the functions of the lymphatic system, because the liver contains lymphatic cells. The following remedies have been found very helpful: Carduus Marianus, Chelidonium, Condurango, Hydrastis, Leptandra, Lycopodium, and Taraxacum.
Also, remedies to support the immune system are very beneficial, as they also have a positive impact on the lymphatic system. These include: Calendula, Viscum album, and Echinacea.
Body training is just as important in reducing and preventing cellulite, as dietary change and weight loss. Circulation in the muscles is stimulated through movement, and interacts with the bloodstream in fat tissue, which therefore helps with the reduction of cellulite. Riding a bike, swimming, and particularly water jogging, have all been proven very effective. It very important to exercise regularly and to stay disciplined.
Regular body training and a reduction in weight are the most important prerequisites for nicer skin and slim legs.
Water Therapy and Massage
Kneipp water treatments are highly recommended because they stimulates circulation and thus help to promote the removal of fat from the lymphatic system. Also, massages using a massage brush encourage circulation.
If you have any questions regarding this article or are interested in coming in for a free 15 minute information session on homeopathy, please call the clinic at (519) 603-0505.
Your best treatment is always an individually chosen constitutional remedy that considers the person in a holistic way, incorporating symptoms at the physical, emotional and mental levels – because how you feel and how you think will ultimately affect you at the physical level. I would be happy to answer your
Irene Schwens, C. Tran., DHMHS
Owner and Homeopath