Embarrassing and unsightly, no one likes cellulite, on themselves or anyone else. But while most people have no trouble identifying it, scant few understand exactly what cellulite is.
Cellulite is fat that protrudes out from the lower layers of skin into the dermis, or outer layer of the skin. Cellulite gives a dimpled appearance to the skin, often grotesquely described as a ‘cottage cheese’ look. Commonly cellulite is seen on the rear end, thighs, and lower legs, though it can appear elsewhere.
Surprisingly, modern science still knows very little about the cause or causes of cellulite. We do know, however, that between 85% and 98% of women (that’s almost all women) have at least some cellulite somewhere on their bodies. So, contrary to popular misconception, then, and despite how used to seeing cellulite on obese people we may be, cellulite is not a derivative of being overweight.
Science has also observed that cellulite is less common in men, leading many researchers to believe there is a hormonal component to its formation. Prevailing theories suggest that the appearance of cellulite could be related to one’s diet, more specifically the ingestion of large amounts of trans-fats as well as foods like pasta, white bread, and other foods heavy in white flour. Again, this is suspected, but not yet ‘known’ or proven.
As is the case whenever a perceived new problem arises in our culture, manufacturers scamper to produce and release countless products targeting the cellulite-afflicted. You’ll find gels, lotions, pills, and more all promising to rid you of that unsightly cellulite. Do they work? So far there’s nothing but anecdotal evidence supporting these products at best.
Another false hope in the battle against cellulite is liposuction, the removal of fat from the body through surgery. Liposuction does not suck out cellulite.
Some sufferers have found that certain kinds of massage may produce a temporary reduction in the appearance of cellulite on the body, but not a reduction in the actual existence of it. This is because there are no blood vessels in subcutaneous fat, so when the body is massaged and circulation below the skin is stimulated, the surface of the skin appears smoothed out. Massage, then, is only a superficial solution to cellulite, and one with effects lasting only for the short term.
The only steps so far that have shown to make any real and lasting reduction in cellulite are the same steps advised for proper and effective weight loss: a healthy lifestyle. Eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, and getting plenty of both exercise and rest seems to be the only known remedy for unsightly and embarrassing cellulite. It’s not reinventing the wheel, and it’s no quick fix but it works. And when it comes to looking and feeling good, what works is all that matters.