Cellulite, the dreaded dimpling or “orange peel” appearance of skin on the thighs, buttocks and even sometimes abdomen of otherwise healthy women. Nobody wants it, it’s an ugly reminder that there’s fat right there, just itching to escape. Some women spend thousands of dollars trying to remove it, many women just give up and cover up. Whatever way you look at it, it’s a problem and one that we decided to face head-on in an effort to help the approximately 85% of women who have it.
To understand cellulite, you first need to understand the anatomy of skin. The top layer of skin is called the epidermis. Right under this is the dermis (also known as the corium) which is filled with hair follicles, sweat glands, blood vessels, nerve receptors and connective tissue. The next layer down is the first of two layers of subcutaneous (under the skin) fat. It is here that we find fat cell chambers arranged vertically in females and when this fat protrudes into the dermis (think of a muffin rising out of its tray to create a bump as it bakes) and we have what is known as cellulite.
Men have a completely different structure in that first layer of fat which allows for more internal expansion of their fat so it’s rare to see men with cellulite. Added to this, men have thicker epidermis and dermis layers in the thighs and buttocks than women.
There are many treatments for cellulite – liposuction, injectables, massage, thermotherapy (heat therapy), topical ointments, lasers and shock wave therapy are a few. These can cost upwards of a few thousand dollars depending on which treatment is chosen. The results? Less than promising for the most part and for the more invasive treatments like liposuction and injectables there are the possible side effects of swelling, infection and irregular contours to look forward to.
Of all of the treatments, lasers prove to be the most promising. The side effects are minimal (small blisters) although long term effects are unknown at this time.
What You Can Do To Minimize Cellulite:
1. Firstly, understanding what cellulite is – a unique and distinctive layer of subcutaneous fat common to females (not some weird disease that only a few people suffer from).
2. Do not waste your money on cellulite “treatments” (seaweed wraps, liposuction, ointments, massage etc) because they have been shown to be largely ineffective, no matter how much they cost.
3. Improving your diet and exercise will improve cellulite appearance. Reducing body fat will cause the fat cells to pull away from the dermis and lessen the “orange-peel” effect of bumpy fat (AKA cellulite).
4. Start doing resistance training (weight training of some kind). Cellulite is layered on top of muscle and if that muscle is soft and untoned it will contribute to the uneven look of the skin above it.