Cellulite: What Is It?
Cellulite refers to wrinkled or puckered skin on your rear and around your thighs, abdomen, arms, and breasts. It appears most often in women, but it can affect men, too. Lines of “full” fat cells bulging under the surface of your skin cause cellulite. If you notice cellulite developing, it isn’t necessarily a sign you’ve gained weight. Cellulite can occur when your body redistributes its current fat load. It affects most women at a certain stage of their lives.
Is Cellulite Dangerous or Unhealthy?
Cellulite isn’t an illness and has no medical implications whatsoever. If it’s a problem, it’s a cosmetic one. Many women consider visible cellulite, which has the texture of orange peel.
Does Cellulite Mean You’re Overweight?
Fat or thin, anyone can have cellulite. It doesn’t mean you’re overweight. Whether your skin puckers around subcutaneous fat has more to do with your genes. You may have heard the expression “thick-skinned” meaning someone unaffected by insults. But people do have different skin types. The thicker your skin, the less likely you are to show cellulite, and the thinner your skin, the more likely you’ll see it.
What Other Factors Cause Cellulite?
Genetic inheritance plays a big role in cellulite. If your mother or grandmother had cellulite, you can expect to have it, too. Studies also show that race can be a factor. Asian women are less likely to have cellulite than white Caucasians. Hormones and aging may also play a part in whether you get cellulite.
Ways to Help Prevent Cellulite
While you have no say in your genes, race, or age, several lifestyle factors can help you avoid the worst cellulite. Fad dieting followed by binging makes cellulite worse, along with being overweight, living a sedentary lifestyle, not drinking enough water, and stress. Eating a healthy, balanced diet, taking regular exercise, keeping yourself hydrated, and learning to relax, can all help to lessen your cellulite’s severity.
You may have heard of tanning as a “cure” for cellulite. But while tanning may mask cellulite temporarily, excessive exposure to UV light damages the skin. If you go to the tanning salon too often, you’ll make matters worse in the long run.
Can You Treat Cellulite?
Several potential treatments for cellulite exist. You can try applying topical creams containing retinol, methylxanthine, and herbs such as clover, gingko, and evening primrose. However, while several scientific studies have measured the effects of these creams, there’s no conclusive evidence to show they work.
Spas and dermatology clinics offer various forms of massage, radio-frequency, laser, and suction therapy. But again, trials suggest that even if there may result in slight temporary improvements, your cellulite will return soon after you finish treatment.
Invasive surgical techniques called liposuction and subcision are also available. During liposuction, the surgeon uses a machine to suck fat out from beneath your skin, and in subcision, the surgeon cuts the connective tissue between fat cells. But neither of these interventions has scientific validation and both are expensive.
Cellulite: The Bottom Line
Cellulite is not harmful and is a natural occurrence in most women, and some men, regardless of weight or fat burden. Several treatments are available, but none are supported by scientific proof. Although, they may offer temporary improvements in appearance. The best way to improve cellulite is to live a healthy, active, happy life, and don’t let it worry you.