Cellulite 101

Cellulite – a word that haunts many, especially woman. Let’s look at the scientific meaning first. Cellulite is subcutaneous fat that causes dimpled looking skin. Fat deposits push through the connective tissue beneath the skin, therefore creating lumps and dimples in the skin. Cellulite appears primarily on thighs, buttocks, hips and stomach. This blog post will expand on the causes and origins of cellulite as well as ways to reduce its appearance.

Why are women more likely to get cellulite?

It might be difficult to believe, but cellulite appears in men too; however, it is far more common among women. This is because woman and men have different distributions of fat, muscles and connective tissue. When fat beneath the skin pushes against collagen fibers, cellulite is formed. In men these collagen fibres are arranged in a tight lattice pattern whereas women have collagen fibers arranged in vertical rows. Since the collagen fibers in men are so closely bound, fat does not often push through. In woman, the vertically arranged collagen fibres allow fat to push up causing dimples and lumps. To add to this, the hormone structure and genetics of a woman result in a higher chance of fat storage in the lower body.

Hormones and genetics

Certain hormones such as insulin, noradrenaline, estrogen and thyroid hormones contribute to the development of cellulite. Age also plays a part. Cellulite can affect women of all ages, however it is more likely to appear after the age of 25. With age, your skin produces less collagen causing it to become thinner and less elastic, therefore saggy, which allows cellulite to develop more.

There are certain factors that allow cellulite to thrive. They include a slow metabolism, more fat distribution under the skin, weak circulation and ethnicity. All of these factors are genetic and cannot be altered.

Other causes

Besides the hormones and genetic tendencies which one has no control over, cellulite is also caused by certain lifestyle factors as well as your diet. If your diet consists of a lot of fats, you are more likely to develop cellulite. Cellulite is also very prevalent in those who do not exercise enough, as this allows for the storage of excess fat. Dehydration is also one of the contributing factors.

 

Solutions

There is no cure for cellulite, but there are ways in which you can reduce its appearance substantially. These are no quick fixes; solutions need to be continuously administered in order to see improvements.

  1. Eat a healthy diet: reduce all fats, carbohydrates and salt and include food with more fibre.
  2. Exercise is one of the more effective ways to reduce your fat content and to keep your muscles toned.
  3. Do not wear tight underwear or pants, as this reduces your blood flow which can contribute to cellulite formation.
  4. Spray tans or self tanning lotions can reduce the appearance of cellulite as it is more visible on those with a fair or light skin tone.
  5. This blog will not explore the cosmetic solutions such as liposuction or laser therapies to reduce cellulite and has focused on more natural solutions. However, the use of cellulite reducing creams or skin firming lotions are suggested for exploration.

Can you prevent cellulite?

It is important to note that because cellulite is caused by a number of factors, women of all ages and sizes are prone to cellulite. This means that thin woman are also prone to the development of cellulite. It is not possible to prevent cellulite, but you can reduce the appearance of it by leading a healthy lifestyle with includes healthy eating and exercise.