The Most Common Myths about Cellulite

Cellulite makes your skin look lumpy and dimpled. Some even refer to the condition as “cottage cheese” skin or “orange-peel” skin, due to the similarities in appearance. Cellulite is caused by deposits of fat under your skin that push through the surrounding connective tissue. Most often it appears on your thighs and butt, and it can be a source of embarrassment for you, especially during summer swimsuit season.

It’s estimated that 80-90% of women will experience cellulite at some point in their lives because of the way their muscles and fat are distributed. Though common in women, cellulite can affect men. The condition can range from mild to severe, where your skin has deep depressions and appears significantly saggy.

Many factors contribute to cellulite development, including hormones and genetics, and a number of products available on the market claim to make your cellulite vanish. To really understand the best way to prevent cellulite, you have to understand the truth about cellulite and forget the many myths you’ve been hearing all your life.

Here are the five most common myths you’ve probably heard about cellulite:

Myth 1: I have more fat than everyone else.

You don’t necessarily have more fat than everyone else when you have cellulite. Though it’s true there is fat involved in the development of cellulite, that’s only part of it. When fat pushes through the muscles and connective fibers, it creates the lumpy appearance of your skin. The stretched fibers of collagen attaching your skin to your muscles are what create the dimples in your skin.

Myth 2: I only have to worry about cellulite when I get old.

Your age does play a role in the appearance of cellulite, but it isn’t the rule. Your skin can start dimpling at any age because of your genetic makeup, body structure, and hormone levels. As you age, your skin does lose elasticity and smoothness, which can contribute to more visible areas of cellulite.

Myth 3: I have lost weight. Why do I still have cellulite?

Unfortunately, even when you lose weight, cellulite can still hang around. For this reason, it is important that you include weight training and aerobic exercise into your weight loss plan.

By building muscle, staying hydrated, and eating a healthy diet, you can reduce the fat that causes bulging within the connective tissue. Quality exercise also helps to strengthen your connective tissue fibers of your skin and reduces the appearance of cellulite.

Myth 4: I can just use those expensive anti-cellulite creams.

It sounds lovely that a cream can magically erase that cellulite on your butt and on the back of your legs. However, the reality is many of these off-the-shelf products aren’t proven effective in erasing cellulite.

Some quality prescription-strength topicals containing retinol have shown good results. Retinol helps to thicken your skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite when you use those topicals as directed.

Myth 5: I’ll just get a tan and cover up my cellulite.

When you expose your skin to the UV rays of the sun, you can actual cause more damage and make cellulite worse. These UV rays actually break down the elastin and collagen in your skin, making cellulite more obvious. It is important to always use high-quality sunscreens with adequate SPF to prevent this damage.

Depending on your skin type, you may achieve some success in reducing the appearance of cellulite by using self-tanners. These products change the color of the paler areas of skin affected by cellulite for a temporary fix.

How can I get rid of cellulite?

In addition to strength-training and aerobic exercises, there are non-invasive treatments available that can help eliminate dimpled skin. At 23 Sandstone Body & Mind Spa, Dr. Alice McKee offers Zimmer ZWaveⓒ, an advanced technology that use shock waves with sound waves (similar to lithotripsy for kidney stones) to stimulates your metabolism and blood flow, forcing your body to process and eliminate unwanted cellulite.

Though a good diet and sufficient exercise are still recommended for overall good health and body tone, Zimmer ZWaveⓒ treatments are also an effective option to get you ready for the summer or to boost your body confidence all year round.

Dr. Alice Mckee Dr. McKee grew up in Leland, Mississippi, before attending both the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Barnard College of Columbia in New York City, where she earned her bachelor’s degree. Before beginning medical school, she worked at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

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