Overview of Cellulite

Cellulite is the lumpy substance resembling cottage cheese that is commonly found on the stomach, thighs and buttocks. While it is not officially a disease, it does refer to a condition that clearly exists. Cellulite is actually a fancy name for fat deposits that push against the connective tissue beneath a person’s skin, which causes the surface of the skin to pucker or dimple and look lumpy.

You can check to see if you have cellulite by pinching the skin around your upper thigh. If it looks a bit lumpy, you probably have it. But you are definitely not alone! Most girls and women- and some men- have cellulite. By some estimates, over 80% of adult women have some degree of cellulite.

Descriptive names for cellulite include orange peel syndrome and cottage cheese skin.

The signs and symptoms of cellulite

The main sign of cellulite is lumpy, dimpled skin, especially on the thighs, stomach, or buttocks. Despite its appearance, cellulite is harmless and there is no pain or discomfort associated with this condition.

The causes of cellulite

The causes are poorly understood when it comes to cellulite. They may involve changes in metabolism, alterations of connective tissue, vascular changes and inflammatory processes. Hormonal levels and heredity are thought to play a possible role in cellulite formation. Some research seems to indicate that stress and diet may also contribute to the development of cellulite, but sound evidence is lacking.

Cellulite is not related to being overweight. Normal and underweight people can also have cellulite. Losing weight will not eliminate cellulite but it can reduce its appearance since it makes fat tissue shrink.

Smoking , lack of exercise, fatty/starchy foods and sitting or standing in a single position for long periods have all been correlated with an increase in cellulite. A high stress lifestyle will cause an increase in the hormones which are believed to trigger cellulite formation.
 

The treatment of cellulite

There is no proven or officially approved treatment for cellulite. This is mainly due to the fact that there has been little clinical research done on this condition. However, there are many so-called treatments on the market all claiming to improve the appearance of cellulite.

Caffeine creams Caffeine is widely known to promote the drainage of excess fluid from tissues and also increases the breakdown of cellular fat. These factors alone would recommend it for the treatment of cellulite. These caffeine creams work almost immediately, giving the skin a more smooth appearance. For the creams to be effective, they must be used daily and in a consistent manner. In any case, the results will be modest at best. See also: Can caffeine reduce cellulite?  
One of the most popular myths about cellulite is that drinking soda beverages will cause it to appear. The myth is focused on the untruth that the sodium in these beverages causes swollen fat cells. The truth is that cellulite does not consist of swollen fat cells.