Stages of Cellulite
Clinically, there are 4 stages of cellulite. Did you know that cellulite is actually classed into cellulite stages?
Some people may have cellulite and not even know it yet as it is deep in the layers of the skin and not yet visible! The causes of cellulite can vary, but the end result and stages don't change. Cellulite treatment is required to avoid the painful final stages.
Cellulite Stage 1
Your skin contains 4 layers, the sub-dermal, being the deepest tissue, the dermis that contains your blood vessels that deliver nutrients, the empidermis being the skin itself and the stratum coneum, being the first layer of skin that we see.
The first stage of cellulite is actually not visible because it is occurring at the dermal level of the skin. Blood vessels begin to break down in the level and the skin can no longer receive the nutrients it needs, causing the dermis to break down further. When this happens water seeps out of the damaged blood vessels and collects in the tissue as waste water. Fat cells begin to enlarge and join together at this point. You will not even notice this occurring in your body. It is not visible due to the depth that it all begins at.
Cellulite Stage 2
In the second stages of cellulite, your dermis has become quite damaged from the cycle that began above. The damaged blood vessel network will be patchy, with some areas still functioning and bringing nutrients to the skin. As the dermis breaks down, the fat cells swell more and clump at an increased rate. As the fat cells clump, this further restricts the blood flow to the area. At this point the ‘waste water’ will accumulate more easily in the damaged areas. Overall the outer layer of the skin may still appear healthy, but if you pinch the skin you will see the orange peel affect at this point in stage 2 cellulite.
Cellulite Stage 3
During the third of the four stages of cellulite, the deterioration process above just continues and worsens. Restricted blood flow, fat cell clumping, and waste water retention. The restricted blood flow to the area now begins to affect the metabolism of the skin. The lack of nutrients being supplied causes the dermis to begin to thin. Unfortunately at this point, hard deposits known as septa begin to form around the clumped fat cells. Once this has begun, the cellulite is now visible without the pinch test and the skin will take on a lumpy, bumpy look and feel.
Cellulite Stage 4
This is the final stage in the cellulite cycle. At this point, cellulite is very visible. The clumps of fat have been totally surrounded in hardened proteins. Cellulite has been present for a number of years at this stage. The skin has also taken on another property. It has lost its firmness. This is caused by the breakdown of the tissue that all began in stage 1. Fluid retention at stage 4 can actually become painful. All of this results from stage 1 progressions.
As much as all of this is good information to know, it can be a little depressing to know where the cellulite problem ends. No one wants to go through the appearance of stage 4 cellulite or the associated pain. Please review our other pages on cellulite diet, exercise, cellulite creams, and cellulite treatment available to avoid progressing to stage 4 cellulite.
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