7 Cellulite Facts
Orange peel or cottage cheese skin—call it what you want, cellulite isn’t pretty looking. But the condition is extremely common for both women and, to a lesser degree, men. We asked our medical advisor, dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett, to explain what cellulite is, as well as, the million dollar question: Can we really get rid of it? Here’s what you need to know about cellulite:
#1 It is fat cells that sit under the skin. “The dimpled texture associated with cellulite is because of the distribution of fat within the fibrous septae underneath the skin. The fat isn’t distributed in a nice, even manner. It collects in spots, which causes uneven texture on the skin.”
#2 Women get it more. “Cellulite can form anywhere and in anyone but is more common in women in the areas of the buttocks, hips, abdomen and thighs. These are areas of larger fat distribution and that is typically where the body stores more fat cells,” says Dr. Kellett.
#3 Men are not immune to it. “Yes, men can get cellulite too, but since the percentage of body fat in a healthy male is on average lower than in women, it is less common. The higher the percentage of body fat, the more likely you will have cellulite.”
#4 It’s hereditary, but not totally. “Cellulite can be hereditary in that certain body types can be hereditary. For example, a pear-shaped body type with large hips can be hereditary – passed down from generation to generation,” says Dr. Kellett, who adds that “since a higher percentage of body fat is stored around the hips and thighs in this body type, the greater the chance of cellulite.” However, “Outside factors such as weight gain and an increase in size due to increased caloric intake can contribute to cellulite.”
#5 Losing weight helps reduce it. “Exercise and diet can decrease weight and overall body fat,” says Dr Kellett. But don’t equate being super skinny with being cellulite-free. “Even models with very low body fat percentages can have cellulite.”
#6 Caffeine creams help, just a little. Experts often recommend massaging caffeine-spiked creams into the skin to “increase circulation.” Explains Dr. Kellett, “Caffeine increases blood flow to the area, resulting in local tissue swelling.” This may lead to a temporary plumping effect that makes lumps less obvious.
#7 Clinical treatments may help. “There are technologies that dermatologists use which incorporate suction and massage to smooth the skin by repositioning fatty deposits under the skin and stimulate blood flow,” explains Dr. Kellett, who says that several treatments are necessary to achieve less dimpled skin.