Cellulite: the arch nemesis of every woman- where it comes from, and why it’s picking on you.
Most people think that cellulite is a type of fat, or a specialized fat that has a different texture than what we have come to identify as ‘fat’. Cellulite is not a special fat, or a type of fat, it is simply fat. This fat gets its distinctive dimpled and wrinkled appearance when pressure on a particular area is increased, or muscles contract around fat. Even the pressure from sitting may even be enough to produce this undesired outcome.
This information is probably still leaving you with the question of, ‘How’? Cellulite is just subcutaneous fat (fat lying under the skin) that has herniated into the dermal layer of skin beneath the epidermis. This happens very easily in women because of irregularities in our connective tissue that border between the dermis and the fat cells; these irregularities usually result from tissue weakness, and once this connective tissue irregularity becomes weak enough, fat can migrate to the superficial layer of skin, giving it a dimpled appearance.
Though this explanation shows us how cellulite forms, it still can’t explain the ‘why’. Unfortunately the ‘why’ is harder to understand- so much so, that doctors and researchers really don’t know for sure what causes it. Some researchers suspect metabolism and physiology changes, like the ‘skin architecture’ of a person or the way connective tissue structure changes as we age, could be responsible. Other studies suggest Hormonal factors are to blame for our dimpled cheeks. Researchers have found that hormones play a big role in the formation of cellulite in our bodies; one such hormone is suspected to be Estrogen. Estrogen may be responsible for forming, and aggravating cellulite appearance, though no clinical data has been reliably duplicated to support claims. Other potential culprits in the Hormone theory are: insulin, thyroid hormone, prolactin, adrenaline and noradrenaline. With so many potential causes, it’s hard to narrow down the search to one main factor in cellulite formation.
Though it may feel like it, Cellulite is not singling you out; estimates in the United States show that as many as 80 to 90% of women have cellulite on their bodies. Usually areas most affected are the thighs and butt, most likely due to the quantity and quality of fat stored in those areas of our bodies. Due to the way in which women carry and store body fat, it’s more likely you will see cellulite on a woman, than on a man- though some men have reported the appearance of cellulite on their bodies.
Because the appearance of cellulite on our bodies is based on the make-up of our connective tissue and the amount of compression pressure we place on our bottoms, the only way to really reduce the appearance of cellulite is to lower total body fat. There are many different creams, gels, lotions and pills out on the market today for cellulite reduction, but the truth of the matter is, none of those products will really help reduce your cellulite. Creams can hyperhydrate an area to temporarily reduce the appearance of dimples, but they must be applied several times a day and never solve the underlying problem.
Your best bet for a smooth bottom is exercise and all-over fat reduction. To reduce compression pressure on your thighs and butt, try getting up from your desk every hour and talking a quick walk around the office, even if only to the water cooler and back. You can also try various chair cushions to relieve excess pressure on the back of your thighs while sitting for extended periods of time. At lunch, take a walk around the block or simply stand to allow your body a break from sitting.
Though there is no ‘cure’ for cellulite, remember that it is simply an unwanted superficial problem with no real adverse health effects. While no one wants cellulite on their bodies, the truth of the matter is, the majority of women you know and maybe even you, have cellulite somewhere hidden away. If you find a program that helps reduce the appearance of cellulite on your body, share it with your friends!