Cellulite is a common condition that is caused by fat pushing onto the connective tissue and creating the look of bumpy skin. While it is extremely common and most adult women and men with certain conditions have it, there are no physical risks correlating with cellulite. This, however, does not facilitate the beauty industry to stop monetizing treatments, creams, and other interventions targeting people with cellulite. Moreover, the high consumer demand creates an environment in which people look for ways to mitigate the effects of the conditions despite the lack of risks and the high prices on the market. This paper examines cellulite from a scientific and mathematical/analytical perspective, as well as determines the source, the manifestation, and the market in which treatment for cellulite is being advertised.
Cellulite: Scientific and Mathematical/Analytical Perspectives
Cellulite is a skin condition that affects multiple people worldwide. While it is harmless and does not correlate with major risks and symptoms that can compromise one’s physical well-being, cellulite is often considered unattractive and aesthetically unappealing. This is why different treatments are being offered to ameliorate the appearance of bumpy skin on the thighs, hips, buttocks, and, less commonly, breasts and abdomen. In this paper, the topic of cellulite will be examined from two perspectives: the scientific overview and the mathematical/analytical one. The biological perspective will be examined based on the research question “which is the biological basis for cellulite and how does the condition manifest itself on an anatomic level?”. The mathematical/analytical perspective will be examined through the research question “What is the economic implication of cellulite treatment and what are the causes for the high cost of the measures?”.
Scientific Perspective: Level One Scientific Question
The question of concern is; What are the anatomical, physiological, pathological, or epidemiological issues of cellulite? Cellulite, as mentioned prior, is a common skin condition that affects a large demographics without imposing health risks and symptoms that can negatively impact one’s physical well-being. According to researchers, cellulite does not correlate with severe anatomical issues, and the concerns that 90% of post-pubertal women deal with are physiological and only correlate with appearance (Sadick, 2019). Epidemiologically, the condition affects primarily females and males with androgen-deficit issues. The pathology manifests itself as the enlargement of the fat lobule, which is more prominent in individuals who put on excess weight. However, the diagnosis itself does not only affect people who fit the criteria of overweight or obese. A more extreme version of the condition does, however, mostly occur based on weight gain.
Cellulite is a skin condition triggered by circulatory processes, which exemplifies that the body system that it affects is the lymphatic one. Researchers point out that on a cellular level, the presence of such cells as fibroblasts, endothelial cells, and myocytes illustrate that the fat has complex functions besides solely storing lipids (Tokarska et al., 2018). Thus, the cellular processes do not correlate with pathology as the condition is not linked to any health risks and damage. On a genetic level, cellulite does not impact a particular system but may be linked to predispositions.
Level 2 Scientific Question
The question is; Which chemical or biological issues related to cellulite are most important?
While the exact causes are yet to be illustrated, there are concepts that have been found in relation to how cellulite appears and the processes in the body that facilitate the condition. Researchers point out that it is caused by damage in the lymphatic and blood circulation system, which impacts the fatty layer (Wilczyński et al., 2017). The physical aspect of the condition, which appears as bumps under the skin, is the main reason why treatments are so popular. Since cellulite affects self-esteem and mental well-being, such procedures are widely used. Treatments include topical treatments (creams), Cryolipolysis, ultrasound, Cellfina, laser treatments, and other procedures (Bass & Kaminer, 2020). The many options differ based on efficacy, results, effectiveness, and cost. Some of the options target the outer appearance of the skin, while others deal with the source itself. However, since cellulite does not correlate with any health risks besides the challenges that affect one’s psychological well-being, the treatment measures mentioned prior have an aesthetical role. Thus, the research question may be answered through the evidence that cellulite manifests physiologically through appearance yet does not create harm on any bodily systems or the physical well-being of the person with this condition.
The research question regarding the mathematical/analytical perspective is; What are the economic issues involved? As mentioned prior, the mathematical and analytical perspectives will be focused on treatment, the economic characteristics, and the factors that create an environment in which consumers are ready to invest in these solutions. First, it is essential to mention that treatments available for addressing cellulite differ based on price, and mostly, the topicals that individuals can administer at home are the most cost-effective measures. Researchers point out that a common ingredient, caffeine, is widely used in gels, creams, and patches targeted towards the amelioration of cellulite as an affordable alternative to cosmetic procedures (Liparoti et al., 2022). Such a consideration is critical since the more effective treatments performed by certified specialists cannot be labeled affordable. For example, the treatment mentioned above, Cellfina, ranges between $3,500 and $6,500, which, however, does not create a decrease in demand (Wisco, 2018). The economic issue is a mix of the solely aesthetic purpose of such procedures, the high number of women dealing with the skin condition, and the high demand. Thus, the high costs of the treatments do not create less demand, which would be understandable under the circumstances that cellulite was damaging on a physical level.
The level two research question is; What are the statistical facts related to the issue? The first statistical fact related to the issue is the high number of people dealing with cellulite. As exemplified above, close to 90% of adult women have cellulite, which illustrates that not having it is outside the norm and not the other way around. Moreover, statistics show that in France, more people opt for cellulite treatment (around 2000) compared to treatment for varicose veins (around 300) in 2016 (Michas, 2021). This highlights that the aesthetic characteristics correlating with the condition create a demand for intervention. Based on the relevant economic theory, the law of supply and demand exemplifies that high prices are motivated by people’s willingness to pay for such services. Such findings may be linked to multiple factors on societal, cultural, and economic levels. For example, the fact that the costly procedures are so demanded illustrates the society in which women aim for perfection regardless of the fact that cellulite is prevalent and the majority of females have it. Secondly, such pressure and the beauty standards that exist currently influence people into investing in expensive procedures, which is why medical providers can increase the prices.
The statistical processes that have facilitated conclusions to be formed are based on the analyses of prices of one of the treatments that are in demand based on the general attraction towards such procedures. Moreover, the statistics showing the preference in terms of cosmetic procedures in France have shown that cellulite intervention is among three of the most commonly performed treatments in medical settings. Moreover, the statistics exemplified prior, which illustrates that most adult women have cellulite, is the initial starting point of the argument that the diagnosis is common, unharmful, and not abnormal. Still, it is considered aesthetically unpleasing since so many treatments are being advertised, and many women are willing to spend money to alleviate the physical appearance of cellulite. As a result, the answer to the research question “why is cellulite treatment costly” can be answered by evidentiating the extremely high demand and the target population of 90% of adult women who have the condition. Based on relevant trends, it is certain that research in procedures addressing this issue will continue, and new ways of confronting cellulite will appear on the market and be welcomed with high demand.
In this paper, cellulite was examined from a scientific and mathematical/analytical perspective. The research questions were answered through relevant information published in peer-reviewed studies and recent statistics on the subject. From a biological standpoint, cellulite is exemplified through a collection of fat that creates a bumpy appearance on the skin, usually manifesting on the thighs, hips, buttocks, and other areas. The condition does not correlate with physical damage, but the psychological consequences may affect the individual’s well-being, which is why multiple treatments exist that can ameliorate the condition. The mathematical/analytical analysis has shown that the high demand creates an environment in which such procedures are not affordable for consumers, yet they maintain high positions in the top cosmetic procedures demanded by consumers. Moreover, statistics show that since the majority of women have cellulite, the providers of the treatment have a large base of potential customers. Based on these findings, it is inevitable that the economic implication of the treatments is regulated through the high demand.
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