The Ugly Little Word Called Cellulite

Cellulite: it’s a word most women love to hate. While most of us are aware of what cellulite looks like, not everyone is aware of how it is caused or treated. Cellulite, or the dimpled appearance of the skin found on the hips, thighs, and buttocks, is found on 8 out of 10 women. Cellulite is a lot less common in men because of differences in the way fat, muscle and connective tissues are distributed in men and women’s skin.

Fibrous connective cords that join the skin to the underlying muscle cause cellulite. The cords secure the skin to deeper structures with the fat lying in between. As the fat cells accrue, they push up against the skin, while the long, tough cords are pulling down. This creates a bumpy or dimply surface.

Cellulite is at times described as skin with a cottage cheese or orange-peel texture. Cellulite ranges in severity. Mild cases can only be seen when the skin is pinched, while more severe cases make the skin resemble rumpled and bumpy with areas of peaks and valleys. Cellulite can be found around the thighs, buttocks, breasts, lower abdomen and upper arms.

While weight gain is not a direct cause of cellulite, persons with higher body fat can have a more pronounced appearance of cellulite. Not surprisingly, skinny people can have cellulite too (think celebrity Mischa Barton). Other factors that may increase your chances of having cellulite include stress, an inactive lifestyle, using hormonal contraceptives and aging.

Although surgical treatments are the most effective way to reduce cellulite appearance, there are different things one can do to help minimize the unsightly dimples:

  • Maintain a normal weight…a higher concentration of fat can increase the appearance of cellulite
  • Quit smoking
  • Avoid unnecessary medications that may increase estrogen and in turn cellulite appearance
  • Reduce your intake of coffee, alcohol, salt, high-fat foods and highly processed foods
  • Eat plenty of fiber
  • Drink plenty of water and eat regular daily helpings of fresh fruit
  • Exercise regularly

For Bakersfield residents that are still not satisfied with the appearance of their cellulite, we recommend to contact a plastic surgeon to discuss the different treatment options.


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