Cellulite cure - fact or fiction?

Mathieu Ranger
23 January 2012

Sometimes, puberty can seem lame.

One of the several things about puberty that you might consider lame is that you might get what’s called cellulite. This is when the skin on your thighs, stomach and/or butt takes on a bumpy, dimpled texture.

Look at your skin. What you see is the most outer layer of the skin, or the epidermis.Underneath the epidermis is another skin layer called the dermis. Underneath that layer you have the subcutaneous—which literally means underneath the skin—fat layer. All three of these layers are typically pretty flat, like pancakes.

Your skin is tied to your muscles underneath by fibrous connective cords. The subcutaneous fat layer sits in between and as your fat cells grow, which can happen after puberty, they push up against the skin at the same time as the connective cords are pulling down. This causes your skin to look less like a pancake and more like a bumpy mattress. Voila, cellulite!

Did You Know?
85 to 98 per cent of women have cellulite. So if you do, you’re not the only one!

Nowhere’s the thing—if you have cellulite it’s not your fault. Almost all girls,even skinny ones, will get at least a little bit. Almost all boys won’t. No fair! The reason for this difference is because female hormones not only increase the fat deposited in the subcutaneous layer during puberty, but they also give girls thinner skin which makes them more prone to getting cellulite.

Did You Know?
Many celebrities considered to be beautiful have cellulite and aren’t afraid to admit it. These celebrities include Kelly Clarkson, Hayden Panettiere, Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Simpson and Kim Kardashian.

Some girls don’t get cellulite—they got lucky in the genetics lottery. But in general, if you have cellulite, it’s not going anywhere. What about creams, massages or liposuction? These fixes may only work temporarily or don’t do anything at all. Dr. Michael F. McGuire, a clinical associate professor at the University of California, says that most anti-cellulite creams offer “temporary benefit simply because of swelling.” The explanation is that a lot of the creams cause mild skin irritation, which leads to swelling, which, of course, camouflages the dimpling for a short while.

What’s a girl to do then? Relax and accept that cellulite is out of your control. There are more important things to worry about!

Learn More!

Mayo Clinic article on cellulite

New York Times article about treating cellulite

Cosmopolitan article “Is curing cellulite impossible?”

Article first published June 23, 2011.

Mathieu Ranger

I am a graduate student in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. By day I study yeast and by night...well I don't. I have joined CurioCity to put my communication skills to the test. Let's see how I do!

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