Cellulite: What is it?

Cellulite, many of us know about it, many of us see it on ourselves or other people, many of us try to get rid of while some succeed and some fail.  Cellulite does not discriminate, teens and adults alike are susceptible to having it.  Skinny individuals sometimes may even have more than what our horribly plastic society considers “fat” individuals.The bottom line…it’s NOT cute! so what exactly is it? Why does it form? How can we prevent it? Can we get rid of it?
cel·lu·lite
ˈselyəˌlīt/
noun
  1. persistent subcutaneous fat causing dimpling of the skin, especially on women’s hips and thighs. Not in technical use.

Medical Terminology: adiposis edematosa, dermopanniculosis deformans, status protrusus cutis, and gynoid lipodystrophy

Street Terminology: cottage cheese skin and orange peel syndrome

Before I giving the down low on cellulite, I want to say something to the men: you TOO can fall victim to cellulite! It’s not just women (although we are more prone to getting it because put simply our bodies try to hold on to fat more than the male anatomy)!  Cellulite can also form anywhere! Even though it is found mostly on the thighs and hips, it can form in the arms, stomach, back.  Basically anywhere that can get “fat.”

Cellulite  can be caused by the following:

  1. Hormones
  2. Genetics: Before moving on to the next cause I wanted to state that genetics may predispose you to the tendency of developing cellulite, BUT it does NOT mean you WILL get and it’s not something that can be prevented or go away.
  3. Diet: over eating processed carbs, fats, salt, without enough fiber and water can cause a person to develop cellulite
  4. Lifestyle: Those who smoke, the sedentary, and those who sit in one place for a long time (desk jobs) may be more likely to develop cellulite
  5. Clothing: Wearing panties so tight that they restrict blood flow may actually contribute to cellulite development

Treatment:  There are probably a million and one cosmetic treatments on the market that cost a pretty penny.  So far from the case studies I have personally looked into, NONE of them have been scientifically proven to actually work.  There are also topical scrubs (i.e. sugar scrubs, coffee scrubs, rubbing amino acids, etc) and although those are much less expensive, once again from what I have looked into, they are not backed by science.  Anti cellulite creams? same thing! currently no medical research has been found to back up those claims.  Below is a small excerpt from Scientific American about what the aforementioned actually does:

“Most all creams will only address the fat. So the Nivea [Good-Bye Cellulite Gel-Cream] and others with L-Carnitine transports fats into the [cells’] mitochondria to be used as energy. Caffeine creams will help by blocking the making of fats by the alpha receptors. Some creams have aminophylline, (a compound in some respiratory drugs) which, like caffeine, works by blocking the alpha receptors. In most creams, you find some way of targeting only the fat cells [and not addressing the connective tissue or circulation aspects of cellulite]. ”

So what does work? Exercise, water, proper diet.  The goal is to decrease the size of your  own individual fat cells.

 

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