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What is Cellulite?

By: Jody Ehrhardt - Updated: 21 Nov 2012 | comments*Discuss
Cellulite Dimpling Rippling Effect

Cellulite is the name of a skin condition that results in the dimpling or bumpy appearance, of the thighs and backside area on over 90% of all women. The condition, although usually blamed on excess weight or poor exercise habits, is not caused by weight gain or only found on heavy women. When a person suffers from cellulite they are actually suffering from a breakdown in the fibers that hold the muscle in the body to the skin.

What Causes Cellulite?

The actual cause of cellulite is unknown. Although the majority of women in the world suffer from the condition no one really know what sets them apart from the few who do not ever develop this condition. While some doctors and medical professionals support a connection between diet, stress and cellulite the theories have never been proven.

What researchers do know, however, is that cellulite appears when the tight fiber bands that run from the skin, through the fat, and to the muscle are not tightly placed together. When this happens subcutaneous fat is allowed to protrude through the fibers and affect the appearance of the skin. When this fat pokes through into the dermis or skin bumps appear and a rippling effect is noticeable.

Who Gets Cellulite?

Since the appearance of cellulite is not dictated by bad habits, lack of exercise, or any medical conditions, every woman is at risk of developing the condition. Over nine tenths of the female population eventually develops cellulite and it is just as common in skinny women as it is in overweight ones. It is also found in women who are very physically fit, just as it is found in women who get very little to no physical exercise each month. And, while the condition is found in women of all races Caucasian women are more likely to develop cellulite where as Asian women are least likely to develop it.

The only individuals that are safe from this skin condition are men. This is because the fiber bands that connect the skin to muscle in men are criss-crossed and denser than those found in women. With a more structurally sound fiber make-up fat is unable to protrude through to the surface of the skin.

How is Cellulite Treated?

Currently there is no cure for cellulite. However, many products and theories exist for the treatment of cellulite. The goal of these treatments is the improvement in the appearance of the cellulite and the skin it affects, not the reduction or removal of the cellulite altogether.

Although weight loss will not eliminate the appearance of cellulite research has shown that a healthy diet rich in nutrients can help reduce the dimpling effect that cellulite has on the skin. And, the same is true for exercise. While the exercise won't cure the condition it can build up the muscles and tissue that surround it and reduce how noticeable the cellulite is.

Although there are numerous creams and lotions on the market, which claim to treat cellulite there is no proof that these treatments work. Most creams claim to tighten the skin, or to break up the fatty deposits that cause the condition. At best, these treatments may plump up the skin with added hydration or tighten the skin via dehydration but the effects are not long lasting or dramatic.

Another popular cellulite treatment includes the massage with machines or human hands of the affected area or the stimulation of the area through electricity or lasers. Both methods target the cellulite or protruding fat deposits in hope of breaking them up and allowing them to reabsorb back into the body. Neither treatment has been proven to work completely but some women do get slight to short-term results.

Since treatment is usually ineffective the answer then is to minimize the appearance of the cellulite. And, the most effective, easiest, and most long lasting camouflage technique is the application of self-tanner. When skin is tanned the shading of the complexion and darker coloring actually works to give sufferers the illusion of having less cellulite. This technique is so effective that celebrities, top models, and other women in the public eye swear by its use.

So, if the appearance of cellulite on your thighs has you down just remember that millions of women are suffering right along with you. Accept this common skin condition as inevitable, grab your favorite self- tanner, and vow to concentrate on the important things in life and leave your worries behind.

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