What is Cellulite?

What is Cellulite?

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Cellulite can feel as though it’s a curse word.  There are times when we don’t think about it – mostly in the winter when we’re fully covered – and times when it can feel like the ultimate curse.  What is this puckered, strange formation on our bodies and how is it different from regular areas where fat is stored?

What is Cellulite and How is it Different from Regular Body Fat?

What do 90% of women all ages’ shapes and sizes have in common? Cellulite. Cellulite is basically deposits of fat found under the skin.  That said, it’s clear that it isn’t just the same as the jiggly stuff that can build up around other parts of our bodies when we allow ourselves to be a little too free with our junk food snacking during sweater season.

Cellulite is created when estrogen works on subcutaneous (under the skin) fat tissue causing it to degrade which decreases circulation and builds up excess toxins. The connective tissue that surrounds the cells in this tissue stiffen and swell, pulling the skin down at its points of attachment so some skin is held down while other sections of skin pucker outwards. This gives the skin the appearance of an orange peel.

When these fatty deposits stick together, they create a dimpled surface as cellulite alters the skins contours. The surprising news is that these fat cells can increase up to 300 times their original size. This helps to explain why it has a different shape from the fat deposits on other parts of your body.

What Causes Cellulite?

Cellulite is a 100% natural occurrence and is predominantly found on the thighs, buttocks, breasts and abdomens of women everywhere. Although rarely found in men because cellulite originates in the female estrogen hormones, cellulite in men will be typically seen on their abdomen and neck.

There are no health concerns connected with cellulite, but many women absolutely detest it, and some would do anything to get rid of it for its unsightly appearance. That said, it is important to remind ourselves that just because cellulite is present, it doesn’t mean that we’re at any greater risk of medical concerns.  This isn’t the same as the visceral fat that has such as terrible reputation for increasing our heart disease risk.  The main issue with this type of fatty deposit is that many of us would rather not have it.

Relationship Between Body Weight and Cellulite

What many of us find exceptionally surprising is that there is absolutely no relationship between body weight and the development of cellulite. In fact, it can happen to people who are underweight! So, regardless of how overweight you may or may not be, you can’t blame your number on the bathroom scale for cellulite.

The variables that determine cellulite candidates are lifestyle, genes and hormones. Race plays a minor role in that higher instances are reported among Caucasian women. Diet and exercise will not rid you of this unwanted fatty tissue and rippled skin. However, it is good to note that as good nutrition and fitness practices improve circulation and decrease fat levels, they are effective in preventing further deposits from developing.  

Still, remember that these efforts can prevent but not necessarily stop future cellulite deposits.  If you’re doing everything right and are treating your body like a temple, it can still add this orange peel skin pattern to your form regardless.  Don’t be hard on yourself.  The key is to treat your body well and focus on your wellness.  You’ll reduce your risk of more deposits but that’s all you can do.  Now, it’s a matter of recognizing that you’re being great to yourself and are beautiful inside and out.

How to Get Rid of Cellulite

All that said, the moment you’ve all been waiting for is more than likely to learn how to get rid of cellulite. What is the secret to getting rid of it? Brace yourself. There is no magic cure. A healthy lifestyle is your best defense against cellulite moving into a thigh near you, but once it’s there, it’s typically going to stick with you for life.

Some temporary and very limited success has been reported by women employing topical agents such as creams containing certain ingredients such as caffeine. Those work best when combined with a decent diet and exercise. Look for topicals that contain antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties or that stimulate blood flow. Cellulite affected cells are dry and damaged needing moisture, protection and an increased supply of blood.

That said, it’s also very important to note that you should not expect miracle results. Any outcomes will occur over time and will be slight. You may see a noticeable difference, but you may not because the difference will be minor and likely not measurable with a tape.

Other options can include trying a lymphatic draining massage or more radically, surgery. That said, approach with care.  You might find that things don’t get better, but the problem could expand. Medical procedures like liposuction that do successfully remove fatty deposits have not proven effective on dermal fat and the results have been mixed with surgery outcomes sometimes making it even worse. 

So, women of the world unite! Let’s learn to embrace our cellulite as a natural part of our bodies.  It’s not a sign of weight problems, nor is it an indication of poor health. It’s just something that exists on our bodies, like any other natural part of our form.  It’s not going anywhere anytime soon, so it’s time to accept it and turn our attention to our overall wellness and positive body image, instead.