Cellulite is a term to describe the dimpling of the skin in different areas of the body. It is very common affecting more than 80 percent of women and some men too. It occurs when the amount of fibrous tissue beneath the skin increases and because these fibres are connected to the skin they can pull on it creating the dimpling effect. This process is highly related to the hormone oestrogen and so typically begins in puberty and is normal and not an indication of any medical problem. The most common areas to be affected are the thighs and buttocks but it can also affect the hips, upper arms, stomach and ankles. Men and women of any body shape and size can be affected. With age, the skin thins and so cellulite can become more visible and should therefore be considered a normal part of the ageing process. It is more common in women because of the hormonal influence but genetics also play a role in deciding who gets cellulite and who does not. Cellulite is a fact of life for a large proportion of the population despite the many treatment options available.
It is very important not to confuse cellulite with the medical condition cellulitis, which is inflammation of the tissue beneath the skin that can result in red and often painful skin and may need treatment with antibiotics.
There is no cure for cellulite but there are ways to improve the appearance of the affected areas – some simple, some more invasive, complex and often expensive. Invasive treatments such asliposuction are offered but newer laser treatments, such as Smartlipo, are promoted that aim to break up fat cells whilst at the same time tightening the skin. This is not as invasive as previous liposuction treatments and has a much shorter recovery time. The cheapest and possibly the best way to combat cellulite is with a healthy balanced diet including enough water, weight loss if overweight, regular exercise and keeping skin moisturised and exfoliated and as these measures may not work remembering that almost all women have it!
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