Cellulite is a relatively newer "medical" word used to describe deposition of body fat in a more elegant fashion. Cellulite is nothing more than fat that accumulates in the abdomen, upper thighs and buttock regions of both men and women. Cellulite is also known by several other non medical words terms such as orange peel syndrome, cottage cheese skin, the mattress phenomenon and hail damage. Cellulite must not be confused with Cellulitis, which is a bacterial infection of the skin and requires antibiotics. Cellulite has become a major topic of concern not because of the health concern, but because of cosmesis. The fat dimples are very unattractive and most women are embarrassed about it.
Cellulite to some degree is found in the majority of young females. This is most likely related to the surge of sex hormones. Cellulite is rarely seen in males at this young age. However, males who have disorders where they lack the male sex hormones do develop cellulite. The other group of males who also develop cellulite is those with prostate cancer who receive the female sex hormone for therapy.
Cellulite is not necessarily related to obesity as even thin and underweight individuals develop the condition.
Why does cellulite occur?
No one knows the real reasons for cellulite deposition but is most likely related to changes in metabolism. The syndrome is associated to the female sex hormone, estrogen which is known to initiate and aggravate the deposition of cellulite. Other hormones such as thyroid, prolactin and the catecholamines have also been linked to cellulite.
A diet high in fat, carbohydrates, salt and alcohol has also been linked to cellulite deposition.
Lifestyle factors such as a lack of exercise, tight garments, high heeled shoes and prolonged standing have all been linked to cellulite deposition.
Cellulite has also been known to occur after a traumatic injury.
Today cellulite is classified based on the extent of cellulite deposition and outward skin texture.
The grades vary from an orange peel-like skin to lumpy painful dimples.
Different Types of Cellulite
Cellulite may be hard or soft. Hard cellulite is more common in athletic women and is also much more difficult to get rid of.
Soft cellulite is often lumpy and visible. It usually is more common at the back of the thighs and tends to sag. The entire area affected with soft cellulite can be felt as a mobile mass. While it is easy to see the soft variety of cellulite, it is also easier to remove compared to the hard variety.
To check for cellulite, one can pinch the skin around the thigh. If the tissue feels lumpy, you most probably have cellulite. Fear not, you are not alone with this predicament- there are millions of others with the same problem.