I was asked by a patient today, who was seemingly in amazing shape about the cellulite on her thighs. She was upset because when she sat down, she could see dimples on her thighs. She was thin but there it was as soon as she sat down to show me. Of course in her mind it was tragic, but the fact that it was barely noticeable and it was still bothering her stuck with me.
So what is cellulite? It is a made up word to describe the bumpy, lumpy skin on thighs, arms and bellies. It affects 80-90% of women who are past puberty. Cellulite is caused by a multitude of things. Being overweight is one but skinny girls can get it just as well. Cellulite occurs when fat protrudes between weakened fibers under the skin. This can happen because of genetics, weight gain, changes in hormones(is there anything good with this?), aging(there is nothing good with this, ever!), poor diet and lack of exercise.
Men (of course, they wouldn’t!) rarely if ever get it because of their higher levels of testosterone, low levels of estrogen, thicker skin and general musculature.
So can you treat it? Do the creams work? The anti-cellulite creams have chemicals that temporarily tighten the skin, thereby giving it a minimally smoother appearance. Temporary is ok but it’s not a great long term answer. Massage therapy(endodermologie) and body wraps are also temporary. The most effective way to treat cellulite is to eat a lower fat diet and exercise. (I know you thought I was going to tell you we had lasers for it, didn’t you?? They exist but they’re not perfected yet but I will be first in line for my own treatment when they’re here.)
Exercise is the key, but not just aerobics, which we women love, love, love. The MOST effective exercises to diminish the appearance of cellulite involve building muscle in addition to aerobic exercise. The more muscle you build, the thinner the layer of fat and the better the cellulite will look. So, unfortunately, there is no magic to get rid of it. As with many things in life, hard work is the answer.
Here is a link with some great tips and exercises to help: