Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Why do I have cellulite?

There is a series of books by David Feldman about life's imponderables. I'm sure the question "Why do women have cellulite" falls in this category!

Cellulite affects a very large % of women. Yes, there are those that don't have (or get) cellulite, but they are rare, and if you have a friend like that you would know... she's the one that everyone hates! Cellulite is the uneven and dimpled skin that ruins the backsides and thighs of women everywhere, that turns a day at the beach or pool into that dreaded moment... Cellulite is also rather indiscriminate when it gets to age.... as the photo of Misha Barton shows.

Most women get cellulite after puberty. But men usually don’t... (sorry ladies!). The connective tissue bands under men’s skin are crisscrossed (like a net), keeping their fat more evenly restrained. On the other hand, women’s tissue bands are more loosely organized in vertical columns, resulting in the lumpy appearance. Thanks to estrogen, women have more fatty reserves. But it gets worse.... with age, the connective tissue strands between our skin and muscle become inflexible. These tissue strands used to stretch to accommodate weight fluctuations.... So, as our weight fluctuates, the appearance of cellulite becomes more pronounced.

The causes are poorly understood, but involve a combination of skin architecture, alteration of connective tissue structure, vascular changes, hormonal factors, genetic factors, diet and lifestyle. Believe it or not, but even fashion seems to play some role..... Within the last few decades women went from (very) loose underwear around the thighs to tight underwear going across the middle of the buttock. The tight elastic across the buttock limits blood flow and circulation, encouraging the formation of cellulite.

Fortunately, as technology develops, there is help on the horizon. To the best of our knowledge there is still no ultimate panacea available, but for many women, the technology is available to make a huge improvement in the appearance of cellulite. We will cover this technology in our next post.

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