We all know what it looks like, and we all hate it. That unsightly rippling that makes us despise cottage cheese, put our bikini away, and ditch shorts for capris. Those dimples that are impossible to hide or cover up, and of course, impossible to get rid of.

What Is It?

Cellulite is simply fat deposits beneath the skin. From the surface, they make the skin appear lumpy and dimpled. The appearance is often noted as similar to cottage cheese or the skin of an orange. It is most common on the buttocks and thighs, and occurs after puberty. Although some men have cellulite, it is much more common in women. This is because women have certain types of fat and connective tissues that men do not, and a majority of these are responsible for cellulite.

Cellulite is completely harmless, and doesn’t dictate anything about your health. Even very thin and physically active people can have cellulite. Although it causes no physical harm, many people wish to get rid of cellulite for aesthetic reasons.

Causes

No one really knows what causes cellulite. There are several factors, some controllable and some not, that dictate who will get cellulite and when.

The Uncontrollable

In life, there are just some things you can’t do anything about. Unfortunately, two of these are in part responsible for cellulite:

  • Hormones are a suspected culprit. Estrogen, insulin, thyroid hormones and prolactin all aid in the formation of cellulite.
  • Your genes can also be the cause. Certain genes need to be present for cellulite to form, and our genetics can also set us up for cellulite formation in roundabout ways. Your gender, metabolism, distribution of fat and circulation all play a part. The thickness and colour of your skin can even dictate cellulite; people with pale, thin skin are much more likely to show cellulite while it is a rare occurrence for those with darker skin.

The Controllable

But don’t fear: there are some thing you can do to keep cellulite at bay:

  • Clothing can affect whether or not cellulite forms. Wearing tight clothing can increase your chances. Things like elastic underwear that limits blood flow may cause cellulite to form, and wearing tight stockings or pants can constrict blood vessels and cause swelling. Just another reason to wear comfortable, loose clothing!
  • Lifestyle / Diet can also play a large part in cellulite. Diets high in fat, carbs, and salt with not enough fiber have been linked to cellulite. Also yoyo-dieting or fad dieting can also cause cellulite as they cause your weight to fluctuate often and dramatically. A lack of physical activity is also linked to cellulite. So eat clean and get moving!

Treatments

Liposuction
Liposuction surgically removes fat deposits in the body. However, the fat deposits removed from liposuction are deep beneath the skin, not the surface deposits responsible for cellulite. So although liposuction will remove fat, it won't get rid of your cellulite; it can actually increase the appearance of cellulite by creating more depressions in the skin.

Mesotherapy
Mesotherapy is the process of injecting substances (such as vitamins, enzymes, and amino acids) into tissues beneath the skin. The procedure was created to alleviate pain from inflammatory skin diseases. Mesotherapy has been known to break up fat deposits beneath the skin, reducing the appearance of cellulite. However, the practice carries many significant risks such as infection, swelling, and uneven surface contours.

Massage
Massage may temporarily improve the appearance of cellulite by removing excess fluid from the area. However, it is not a long-term solution.

Laser Treatment
The FDA has recently cleared lasers that can target and break up fat deposits under the skin, as well as increase collagen production.

Creams
While there are many creams that claim to reduce cellulite, most are controversial because there is not much scientific evidence to support their ingredients. Many of these creams contain aminophyllines, an ingredient used to combat asthma. This has an initial effect of shrinking blood vessels and diverting water from under the skin, but these effects are not long-term and can even be dangerous to people with circulatory problems.

There are some natural products that have shown a great improvement in cellulite. These products contain caffeine, lineoleic acid, and various natural extracts to increase blood circulation. Try Priori’s Body Shaping Complex.


So, while cellulite may just be in your cards, don't forget the steps you can take to avoid it. And with new breakthroughs happening every day, it's only a matter of time before we find the solution to ban cellulite for good.