Causes of Cellulite

What is cellulite and what is the cause?

Cellulite is something that nearly every women is familiar with, those pesky dimples, lumps, bumps and irregular contours of the skin. By far, women are affected more than men. Aging, weight gain and loss, thin skin and unfortunate genetics all make cellulite worse. Most women simply cover their thighs for the majority of their lives and are very self conscience.

Myth: Fat is the cause of cellulite.
Despite popular belief, the cause of cellulite is not the presence of fat. This is obvious when you see that even very thin women are affected by cellulite. While the abundance of fat can make the appearance of cellulite more obvious, the fat itself is not the problem. The actual cause of cellulite is multifaceted and involves primarily the connective tissue that supports the fat. Imagine the connective tissue as the scaffolding that supports the fat and the structure beneath the skin. As you age, gain or lose weight or simply have bad luck with genetics; the connective tissue bands can get very stiff and less compliant to change. This stiffness of the bands pulls on the skin causing dimples. To actually remove the cellulite, you must release these stiff bands of connective tissue to allow the skin to lay flat. Other cellulite treatments do not address the connective tissue which is why they do not work permanently.

3 Causes of Cellulite
There are three main causes of cellulite. First, is the stiffness of the connective tissue that supports the fat and undersurface of the skin. The stiffness can be caused by weight gain or loss, age, and genetics. Second, enlarged fat cells in combination with the stiff connective tissue can make the appearance of cellulite more obvious. The third cause of cellulite is thin skin. Imagine laying denim jeans over a rough surface and the jeans will look fairly smooth because they are thick. If you then put silk over that same rough surface, it will likely look much different as the thin silk will take the contour of the surface beneath. Thin skin is the same as silk, it will show any imperfection of the tissue beneath.

Why do women have cellulite more often than men?
This is true, that cellulite affects more women than men. In fact upwards of 95% of people affected by cellulite are women. As you can see in the picture above the basic structure of the connective tissue is very different in men than in women. Since the collagen fibers are the cause of cellulite, it makes sense that if you have more support then you will have less contour irregularities. Men tend to have more connective tissue that are arranged in such a way that it gives better support to the surrounding structures of the skin and fat. Men also tend to have thicker skin, no pun intended. The epidermis for men is usually thick which can hide any potential imperfections.

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