Gynoid lipodystrophy, or cellulite, is the dimple-like appearance of the skin surface. It is when the skin texture is no longer smooth but rather uneven and irregular.
Cellulite is defined as “persistent subcutaneous fat causing dimpling of the skin.” This is basically fat deposit beneath the skin.
It is sometimes referred to as “cottage cheese” or “orange peel” as a way to describe the appearance of the skin texture or surface.
Where can cellulite pop up on your body?
Cellulite can pop up just about anywhere! It predominantly shows up on the buttocks, back of the thighs and hips but it can also be visible on the stomach, arms and back. Some less frequently targeted areas include the front of the thighs, knees, calves and inner thighs.
There are also variances in terms of severity, in other words there is changes in just how visible it is, ranging from barely noticeable to highly visible. It has irregular and non-constant swings in terms of severity.
What causes cellulite?
Cellulite is a multifactorial condition, meaning that more than one thing causes it. The exact cause of it is not yet known but it appears to result from an interaction between the connective tissue in the dermatological layer that lies below the surface of the skin, and the layer of fat that is just below it. If the fat cells protrude into the layer of skin, this gives the appearance of cellulite.
A few of the factors that is thought to have an effect on the likelihood of developing cellulite:
*Genetic factors like metabolism, ethnicity and family history of cellulite
*Hormones like estrogen, insulin and thyroid hormones
*Blood flow and low circulation
*Unhealthy lifestyles: obesity, smokers, inactive people
Who has cellulite?
Cellulite affects women from all races and 85-89% of post-pubertal females will have cellulite. Men can have cellulite too but it predominantly occurs in females.
There are no specific differences in age groups or weight groups. Meaning younger women as well as the elderly are subject to cellulite, as well as someone who is overweight or even at a normal weight. I can confess to this as I have had cellulite when I was lean and underweight as well as when I was overweight. I had cellulite as a kid and I still have it now as an adult.
Race, age, weight or activity level does not guarantee whether or not you will have (or get) cellulite.
Can you cure cellulite?
There is no clear evidence regarding the treatment of cellulite. Prior studies on treatments for cellulite weren’t efficient in proving that certain methods of treatment are effective for reducing cellulite. There is currently no long term and effective “self-help” or “over the counter” treatment for cellulite.
A few of the studies on cellulite treatment include: topical therapy, mesotherapy, lymphatic or vacuum-assisted massage, acoustic wave therapy, light therapy, external non-invasive lasers, and radiofrequency. These different methods have not always been effective in reducing cellulite. To date, there is no single exclusive, effective treatment for the different types of cellulite.
Several non-invasive or minimally invasive methods, repeated in cycles, appear to be the best option when it comes to reducing the appearance of cellulite. A 2018 study found that manual subcision in the treatment of dimpling appears to be effective. Subcision is a minor surgery procedure that eliminates traction of the skin, thereby reducing the appearance of dimples (and wrinkles or scars) on the skin surface.
Weight loss and exercise can also improve the appearance of cellulite to an extent. If you are overweight or obese with visible cellulite around whichever part of your body, losing excess body fat by exercising and overall weight loss (fat loss) can change the appearance of your affected areas, meaning exercise and weight loss can help make your cellulite less visible. It might not reduce the amount of cellulite majorly but some people may see a change in the visibility or amount of cellulite.