Cellulite

DEFINITION

Cellulite is the lumpy fat that appears on the buttocks, thighs and hips. If you have cellulite, you are not alone; most women will have cellulite at some point in their lives. Cellulite is not a problem in itself but can be ugly and make you feel self-conscious. Underneath the skin, many structures make cellulite appear. Fibrous cords connect the skin to the muscles below with fat in between. When fat pushes with these cords holding it back, the surface becomes lumpy and uneven. As you might expect, cellulite is much more common in women than men due to the areas where women carry weight. Eight out of ten women have at least some cellulite. Cellulite is also more common as we age due to a loss of the elasticity of skin. You are more likely to have cellulite if other people in your family have cellulite. Having stress, being sedentary (not being active) and using hormonal contraceptives all contribute to increased cellulite. Many treatments available in advertisements advertise great results, but really do not work as advertised.

SYMPTOMS

Lumpy skin, dimpled skin, cottage cheese skin

DIAGNOSIS

Your doctor will talk to you about your symptoms and do a physical exam. The diagnosis of cellulite is made by looking at the skin. No specialized tests are generally necessary.

TREATMENT

Treatment for cellulite usually begins with losing weight. Both losing weight and increasing the muscle in the problem areas can help decrease the appearance of the cellulite. Dermatologist may offer alternate treatments like laser therapy or radiofrequency with results lasting up to six months. Cellulite is not helped by liposuction. Liposuction is better for shaping areas of the body and may cause more bumpy skin and cellulite. You should discuss your treatment options with your doctor or dermatologist.