This topic is something near and dear to my “butt and thighs”- cellulite. Cellulite is often referred to as cottage cheese thighs or orange peel skin, but whether you’re thick or thin, you are not immune to it. In fact, 95% of women have it at least somewhere on there body. The good news is that there is hope.
What is Cellulite?
Cellulite is a collection of subcutaneous fat cells that push up through the normal layer of fibrous connective tissue below the skin and up against the outermost layer of your skin. This pushing up, or herniation, of fat against the skin is what gives your skin the lumpy or puckering appearance that we all despise.
Who Cellulite Affects Most
Woman are most affected by cellulite, but men can suffer from it too. It is estimated 95% of adult woman have cellulite somewhere on their bodies, so do not fear, you are not alone. Even thin celebrities and supermodels have it – they’re just airbrushed for magazine covers, so you feel like you’re the only one.
Cellulite usually begins to appear after puberty and again in middle aged woman, which progressively worsens over time if left untreated. For some, cellulite just pops up during weight gain, since after all, it is just fat.
The bad news is that you can be a skinny twig and still have cellulite. Case in point – see image.
Where Cellulite Most Often Forms
Depending on genetics, women hold most of their fat in the stomach, thighs, and butt. Because cellulite is just fat, where you tend to hold the most fat is where you will have the most cellulite. That being mentioned, you can also acquire cellulite in areas of your body that like your ankles,calves, or the back of your arms.
Not sure if you have any cellulite? Try this simple test:
Pinch the skin of your upper thigh (or anywhere you hold fat) between your thumb and forefinger. If the skin gets any sort of puckered appearance or looks lumpy…welcome to the Ladies’ Club, you most likely have cellulite.
Common Causes of Cellulite
There is more than just one cause of cellulite, but these causes often work together to give you this dimpling of skin. It’s not just about whether or not you have cellulite, there are several factors that come into play that will affect how much cellulite you have and how visible it is.
Here are some common causes:
- Genetics: I put this one first, because there’s not much you can do if your family in bathing suits reveals a long line of puckered looking skin – it’s inevitable you’ll see it at some point in your life.
- Weaker connective tissue: If your connective tissue is genetically not as strong, it will allow the fat cells to pop through its structure more easily.
- Skin Thickness: How thick or thin your skin is will affect how easily you see the cellulite. Thin skin will make it more visible, while thicker skinned individuals are less prone to its ugly appearance. Again, there is nothing you can do if your veins are like a road map because of your thin skin.
- Gender: Yes, it’s an unfortunate fact, but more women have cellulite than men, which has to do with hormones.
- Weight: This one is fairly self-explanatory – if you’re overweight, you will have more cellulite. Cellulite is just fat after all. However this doesn’t mean being thin will protect you – even stick thin supermodels have cellulite!
- Poor diet: Unfortunately, a poor diet not only leads to a myriad of other health problems, but also to the dreaded cottage cheese thighs. You will tend to trap more toxins in these fat cells giving them more chance of showing up.
- Lack of Exercise: Let’s face it, if you’re not moving, then the connective tissue below your skin is the perfect place for fat cells to congregate.
Getting Rid of Cellulite: Know Your Enemy
We all know that in any sort of battle or competition, the most important thing to know is what you’re dealing with. Now that you know the causes of cellulite, you can assess your own lifestyle and take the appropriate actions to get rid of cellulite. It won’t happen overnight, but neither did the cellulite.
And while you will hear claims that you can never truly get rid of all your cellulite because it’s all genetics, you can drastically reduce its appearance regardless. There are even ways to camouflage its appearance.