Although the vast majority of woman have some cellulite somewhere on their body – nobody likes it! So what the heck is cellulite anyway? Cellulite is pockets of fat that have squeezed between bands of tissue, called septae, that are located below your skin.
Women of all races get it, while virtually no men do. That's because the septae of men are different from women. Men have stronger bands that are cross-hatched allowing them to keep fat in place more effectively. Women have weaker, vertically oriented septae that allows fat to squeeze through easier.
Both thin and heavy women have cellulite. However the higher your level of body fat the more noticeable the dimpling will tend to be. Unfortunately dieting does necessarily help eliminate cellulite. Losing weight helps sometime, but in some cases weight loss makes cellulite worse. This occurs when skin becomes saggy after significant weight loss.
There is a definite genetic component to cellulite which does run in families.
Hormones also are part of the equation with cellulite, but science has not figured out exactly how hormones contribute to cellulite. What is known is that cellulite starts at puberty which is a time that many hormone levels change significantly in females.
Getting Rid of Cellulite
Getting rid of cellulite is easier said than done. Even treatments like Liposuction are not necessarily effective. In fact Liposuction often makes cellulite worse by leaving your skin even more puckered looking than it was before.
Dermatologists are quick to point out that there is no magic cure for cellulite, but there are ways to make it look better! Two of the keys are working out and dropping excess weight sensibly (1lbs per week! – faster weight loss can exacerbate the problem!)
Resistance training is key. As you increase your muscle size and decrease body fat your skin looks smoother. If you lose fat while you simultaneously build muscle your cellulite will improve.
It is also important to work on the health of your skin as you age to make it more elastic so that as you lose fat the skin pulls tight rather than sagging.
Certain topical treatments that increase collagen in the skin, like Retin-A or creams with retinol or vitamin C, cannot hurt and may help.
Maintaining adequate water intake is also key for skin health and elasticity – 6 – 8 glasses of water per day is key.
If you have faithfully tried everything and your cellulite is driving you crazy and you are prepared to spend some serious dollars – Cellulaze – is an FDA approved therapy. Cellulaze involves inserting a lazer under the skin and projects heats in three directions and literally liquefies fat as it cuts the septae around fat cells which can reduce the puckering while also encouraging collagen regrowth.
Cellulaze claims a 70 – 80% improvement in cellulite that lasts a full year. It is most effective for active women with mild to moderate cellulite who are not significantly overweight and who also have good muscle tone.
Unfortunately, Cellulaze is not cheap – costing $5,000 - $7,000 depending on the size of the area being treated.