Cellulite Fact and Fiction

It's summer and some women are reluctantly re-introducing their legs to the world out from under months of snow pants and tights. With 90% of women dealing with it at some point, the dreaded cellulite is once again springing to the top of health and beauty news stories. But trying to navigate the articles and miracle cures and angry reviews is bound to have you reaching for your yoga pants and swearing you feel too much of a breeze to go bare-legged. The folks at Health magazine have simplified the matter for you with a little guide to what is right and wrong in pop knowledge when it comes to cellulite. What causes it? New York City-based dermatologist Cheryl Karcher, MD, is quick to point out that cellulite is not caused by toxins in the body, but by fatty deposits that push up through connective tissue under the skin. Aging in women can also play a role as less estrogen equals less circulation equals more cellulite. Who gets it? Only 10% of men suffer with it. Women have more fat and less supportive connective tissue. While being overweight makes it appear more prominent, even thin women get cellulite. Genetics and diet play a role. If your mom has it, you're more likely to have it. What can you do about it? Exercise. Increasing blood flow, stimulating muscle growth and flexibility can have a major impact. But don't think you can run it off. It takes strength training to get the best results for reducing the appearance of cellulite. While creams are largely wastes of money, injectable fillers like Restylane and Radiesse can have noticeable if temporary effects. Eat right. Anti-inflammatory foods like cucumbers and bell peppers, with high water content support the collagen matrix and connective tissue. Workout clothing specifically targeting cellulite? Nope. "It's just a marketing gimmick and it's not true," says Dr. Karcher. What about surgery? Liposuction is definitely the wrong way to go for cellulite, though in-office Endermologie treatments do offer some benefit. For now, the best surgical option is the best option period for cellulite and that's Cellulaze, an optic laser approved by the FDA in 2012 that breaks up the thick connective tissue and increases the production of collagen for a healthy dermal support system. At $3500 per leg for results that last only a year at the very outside, it might be wise to keep drinking that water, foam rolling before and after workouts, and chomping on those cucumbers. Do you have cellulite despite working out? What have you tried to get rid of it? Any luck?    

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