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7 Facts About Cellulite You Need To Know

April 30, 2015 2 min read

Cellulite, the annoying and nearly unavoidable part of life. It appears when collagen fibers that bind fat to the skin stretch and tear, allowing fat cells to expand. Anyone can develop cellulite, here's what you need to know:

1. Cellulite is not fat

Although easy to do, do not confuse these two! Cellulite is actually just the dimples and bumps that are seen when fat is divided into pockets in the skin, according to board certified plastic surgeon Matthew Schulman, M.D.

2. It's more common in women than men

Not fair, I know. Women's skin collagen is arranged in parallel rows that look like pillars. This pattern lends itself to the compartmentalization of fat, making cellulite visible, says Schulman. Men's collagen is arranged in an X pattern that create only very small compartments of fat that doesn't show as dimpling on the skin.

3. OTC creams may help

Look for products that have caffeine or rentinol. According to Francesca Fusco, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, caffeine helps to stimulate blood flow and temporarily shrink fat cells while retinol helps to repair cells over time. It is recommended to first apply a retinol cream followed by a caffeine cream. Remember, though, this won't actually get rid of the cellulite.

4. There is a cure

Doctors have FDA-approved methods to get rid of cellulite (check some of them out here) but these methods are typically costly and you can be out of pocket hundreds to thousands of dollars. However, in the case of Cellulaze, the process takes about an hour and the results can last for years.

5. Exercise can reduce the appearance of cellulite

Interval training burns fat which makes cellulite less visible. Foam rolling exercises can help too.

6. Losing weight doesn't make cellulite disappear

Having more body fat increases your chances of having visible cellulite but even after you lose weight, the tissues are still stretched and damaged. Genes, inflammation, and hormonal imbalances all affect how much cellulite you have, says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City. Sorry for the bad news but even if you drop a massive amount of weight, it won't completely go away.

7. UV rays worsen the appearance of cellulite

Yet one more reason to slather on the sunscreen. UV rays damage collagen, making cellulite more visible. The reality of cellulite is unfortunate. Unless you have massive amounts of money, you are more or less stuck with it. Take solace in knowing that you are far from alone.  

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