Where it comes from, and how to get rid of it!

Cellulite is a condition affecting the appearance of the skin. It is also known as orange peel skin or cottage cheese skin and is most commonly seen on the stomach, buttocks, and legs.

Cellulite is completely harmless but does pose problems due to the psychological side effects of how one can feel about their looks. Fit people and overweight people both can get cellulite. It is where fat pushes up through the connective tissue just under the skin giving the body a lumpy or dimpled appearance. Cellulite typically makes its first appearance shortly after puberty in females as estrogen seems to play a role in the appearance of cellulite. Males do not get cellulite for the most part due to the androgen hormones and the differences in fat cell and skin structure between the sexes.

There are treatments available for cellulite; however, the validity of many of these treatments is questionable. Listed below are a few treatment options along with the typical results seen.

  • Liposuction is not recommended for the treatment of cellulite even though it is marketed as a viable option in reducing cellulite. In actuality liposuction can make the appearance of cellulite worse.

  • Diet and exercise can reduce fat and tone muscle which can aid in reducing the appearance of cellulite. The smoother, sleeker, and tauter the body is the better it will look.

  • Dietary supplements such as soy lecithin, evening primrose oil, ginkgo biloba, grape seed bioflavinoids, sweet clover, bladder wrack extract, and fish oil are marketed either separately or in combination products as a cellulite treatment. These supplements claim to boost metabolism, combat cellular damage, and improve circulation. There is no proof that taking these or other similar supplements is beneficial in combating cellulite.

  • Topical creams containing methylzanthines such as caffeine, aminophylline and theophylline are marketed as cellulite creams. These creams do contain compounds that can aid in breaking down fat but the creams are not successful due to being unable to deliver the concentrations required to see results.

  • Mechanical massage such as the FDA approved Endemologie massage tool for the treatment of cellulite. Typically sessions cost between $45 and $65 dollars each and 10 to 20 sessions are required to see results after which 1 or 2 maintenance sessions per month are required to keep up the results.

  • Collagenase is an enzyme found in the body which breaks down collagen. Collagen is a component of connective tissue which is involved in the appearance of cellulite. Resent research has shown that injecting collagenase directly into areas of cellulite can improve the appearance. However, long term studies have not been conducted.

There are numerous other treatments available which may or may not work. One should do research into these treatments before deciding on which if any they would like to try.