Cellulite is a condition in which the skin appears to have areas with underlying fat deposits, giving it a dimpled, lumpy appearance. It is most noticeable on the buttocks and thighs, and usually occurs after puberty.
Although cellulite can affect both sexes, it is much more common in females, mainly because they are more likely to have particular types of fat and connective tissue.
The causes of cellulite are not well understood, but there are several theories that have been put forth as explanations. Among these are:
Hormonal factors – hormones likely play an important role in cellulite development. Many believe oestrogen, insulin, noradrenaline, thyroid hormones, and prolactin are part of the cellulite production process.
- Genetics – certain genes are required for cellulite development. Genes may predispose an individual to particular characteristics associated with cellulite, such as gender, race, slow metabolism, distribution of fat just underneath the skin, and circulatory insufficiency.
- Diet – people who eat too much fat, carbohydrates, or salt and too little fibre are likely to have greater amounts of cellulite.
- Lifestyle factors – cellulite may be more prevalent in smokers, those who do not exercise, and those who sit or stand in one position for long periods of time.
- Clothing – underwear with tight elastic across the buttocks (limiting blood flow) may contribute to the formation of cellulite.
Unfortunately there’s been no scientific or medical literature to back up any of the countless products out there that combat cellulite. However, a good massage can help as it aid lymphatic circulation. Some people with cellulite wear special clothing called compression garments to reduce the appearance of cellulite. These garments try to compress arteries and increase blood and lymph flow to reduce visual cellulite.
Cellulite reduction techniques such as liposuction and dieting actually do not remove cellulite. However, eating a healthful, balanced diet and exercising may be the best way to reduce the fat content in cells and reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Eating healthy, low fat foods such as fruits, vegetables, and fibre can help one to avoid cellulite. Similarly exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing stress are recommended to prevent cellulite.