Cellulite: Questions, Causes, Myths, And Ways To Minimize It

February 6, 2018

While cellulite is common, not harmful to your health, and it is not the same as fat (like some people assume), there is no single answer as to why it appears and how to get rid of it once it is there. According to dermatologists, it is so common that about 90% of women have cellulite (which is probably actually closer to 100%), and some men (about 10%) as well. It looks like it's inevitable if you’re a woman — but why?

Cellulite results from fat cells pushing up against the fibrous connective tissue that surrounds them.

Since women are 'blessed' with vertical connective tissue, unlike men who have horizontal and crisscross layers, it means that cellulite does, in fact, discriminate. However, it is a myth that men don't get cellulite — they just have less of it, and it is definitely less visible. Their fibrous tissue is more likely to hold fat within deeper layers rather than push it toward the surface.

Unfortunately, nothing can guarantee that you won’t get cellulite, or that you will get rid of it completely, but there are 7 common factors that can increase one's risk of getting cellulite.

1. Genetic factors

While cellulite doesn’t seem to discriminate based on body type, genetic factors can predispose a person to getting cellulite. These factors have an effect on metabolism, blood circulation, lympthatic drainage, total body fat and the way it is stored in the body. But even if cellulite runs in the family, your lifestyle choices can lessen its appearance or make it worse.

2. Age and menopause

Today, cellulite seems to be affecting those younger and younger, spreading across many women's teenage years, but it is a fact that cellulite gets worse with age. Estrogen is thought to play a role in that, as well as decreasing levels of collagen which cause the skin layer that is supposed to hold the fat to slacken and weaken. Thus, fat cells migrate more easily while their clusters are likely to become even more visible.

3. Hormone fluctuations

The reason we're seeing younger women developing cellulite (most claim that theirs has been there since their teen years) is hormone fluctuations. Some of them occur naturally, such as in puberty, or during pregnancy or other female reproductive events, but one's hormonal balance can be disrupted in many ways. This is why developing moderate to severe cellulite may be a sign of hormonal disorders you need to seek treatment for.

4. Poor diet

Cellulite is not simply the result of being overweight or having lots of body fat, as thin women and even skinny supermodels also get cellulite. However, eating a balanced diet is essential for any woman, and maintaining a healthy weight helps minimize fat cells. The more body fat you've got, the more significant dimpling and orange-peel effect you are likely to have. Eating healthy puts you at less of a risk of that, while processed and packaged meals, takeout food, refined carbohydrates and sugary snacks are ingredients for a sure-fire recipe for dimpled, puckered skin.

Eat a diet rich in fruits and veggies (about 60% of your total food intake), whole grains (about 10%) and proteins (20%), and replace fats with plant oils (10%). Cut back on processed food and reduce your intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates. Staying hydrated is also important, as when in a dehydrated state, cellulite can look worse. So drink plenty of water and eat foods with a high water content, such as cucumbers, tomatoes, and bell peppers.

5. Lack of physical activity

If you have a sedentary lifestyle, your body tends to store more fat and your connective tissue has less elasticity, allowing more clusters of squeezed-together fat cells to form. To keep cellulite at bay, it is important to engage in regular physical exercise: jogging, swimming, working out, yoga or dancing. However, making your cellulite less visible is a more complex task that usually requires strength training to improve the tone of your muscles.

6. Smoking

It is a well-known fact that smoking reduces blood vessel flow, causes premature wrinkles and aging, and disrupts the formation of collagen. This leads to the connective tissue becoming overly stretched and damaged, resulting in bulging of the fat cells and a lumpy effect that shows more, so smoking puts you at a higher risk of moderate to severe cellulite.

7. Stress

There's not much scientific data detailing the ways stress causes the appearance of cellulite, but it is a fact! It may be less direct and related to hormones or overeating, so find effective ways to relax and minimize the stress in your life.

Unfortunately, there's no cure for cellulite, and you can get it because of your genes or even just because you are a woman. Although there may be no way to prevent the appearance of cellulite, you can still reduce it or make it less visible.

Source: Health, Medical News Today

This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not treat yourself, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.