(BlackDoctor.org) – Even if you wear a svelte size and work out regularly to stay lean, you may be struggling with one frustrating figure flaw that most women can relate to: cellulite.
When extra workouts don’t seem to make a difference in reducing the dimply, cottage cheese-like skin that affects thin and heavy women alike, cropping up on the butt and the backs of upper legs, new many resort to other tightening and firming techniques. But which of these new cellulite treatments are the most promising and which ones should you skip?
Cellulite: Understanding It
Before seeking treatment for cellulite, it helps to understand what it is and why it occurs, experts say. “It’s largely genetic,” says Carolyn Jacob, MD, a dermatologist and associate clinical instructor of dermatology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago. “Ninety percent of women have it.”
Cellulite is fat, but with a different appearance than other fat. It looks like dimpled skin, sort of cottage-cheesy, and most often shows up on the thighs, hips, and buttocks. If it’s mild, it can only been seen when the skin is pinched. But in more severe cases, the bumpiness and peaks and valleys show when the skin isn’t pinched.
Cellulite is much more common in women than in men, experts say. Why? Fat in women often accumulates in the thighs, hips, and buttocks. Underneath the skin, the fat contains fibrous bands.
In men, these bands are typically in even rows, says Robert Weiss, MD, president of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery and a dermatologist in Hunt Valley, Md. But in women, even in women at a healthy weight, the bands aren’t in regular, even rows but are in more of a zigzag pattern, he says, probably due partly to hormonal influences. That allows the fat to push through the connective tissue that typically keeps it distributed evenly, resulting in the bumps, peaks, and valleys that appear as cellulite.
Genetics play a role in whether you will get noticeable cellulite, and so does the amount of fat in your body. Excess weight can make the cellulite more noticeable.