Cellulite: fighting the enemy

The bane of women everywhere is cellulite, and for most of us it seems our efforts to keep it at bay…
Cellulite: fighting the enemy
Foto: Flickr / Geomangio

The bane of women everywhere is cellulite, and for most of us it seems our efforts to keep it at bay are a losing battle. Why is that? How many of you have seen a 110-pound waif without what appears to be an ounce of fat on her body sit down and suddenly those telltale bumps appear on her upper thighs? What the heck is that all about? One minute we’re thinking of feeding her a cheese burger so she can gain some weight, and the next we’re exhaling a sigh of relief that at least we’re not the only ones with this problem. Heck, if she can have it, anyone can. So, where does it come from and why, and more importantly, what can we do about it? Read on for more answers.

Cellulite appears most predominantly on our upper thighs and buttocks, but it’s not limited to those areas, as most women know. These insidious fat pockets form, multiply, and congregate on our arms and stomachs as well, especially as we get older and tend to lose more muscle tone, and skin elasticity. As we age, even formerly cellulite-free areas begin to show signs when we’re relaxed and the skin isn’t in a taught position. This is just wrong, as most of you will agree, and we get tired of constantly having to keep an eye on it and monitoring our prone positions. It’s completely maddening to always have to be on guard.

Unfair as it is, it seems that as women we’re predisposed to having cellulite for a couple of reasons. And, it’s not just fat that causes it. It’s a combination of the structure of our overlying skin, and our underlying connective tissues, along with fat deposits and heredity, that contributes to the rippled, bumpy appearance we so often see. It seems as women our underlying connective tissue runs vertically instead of in a cross-hatched direction such as men’s. What does that mean for us? It means that even obese males aren’t as likely to get it as women of any weight, height, or fat ratio.

First off, you can throw your creams, salves, and lotions right out the window, because topicals have little to no effect on cellulite whatsoever. What’s causing it is too far below the skin’s surface for these products to ever make a dent; or remove the dents. Proper diet and exercise, and staying hydrated, can help immensely, but they will not eradicate it completely. Regular massage of the areas afflicted with it may help break up the pockets, but there is some debate on this. Treatments such as Acoustic Wave Therapy or VelaShape are currently being employed to battle the unsightly bulge, but they’re fairly new treatments with very little data to back them up.

Although cellulite might be considered unsexy, accepting our bodies the way they are and being comfortable in our own skin is. Most men will say that they care far less about our little bumps and bulges throughout our bodies than we do, which is somewhat of a relief, and that confidence and being comfortable with ourselves is a far greater turn on to them than we had ever imagined. If this is truly the case, it appears there’s hope for them and us yet.