4 questions every woman should ask about cellulite

October 5, 2015

Cellulite creams don't exactly have a strong track record. Before looking for a treatment, be sure to ask yourself these questions to find out about what may work for you.

4 questions every woman should ask about cellulite

1. Who is affected by cellulite?

Although cellulite may seem like the bane of the overweight, 85 to 98 per cent of women have dimpled thighs and backsides.

  • It's more visible in some than in others, regardless of weight.
  • Those who are genetically predisposed to dimpling suffer from cellulite the most.

2. Why do only women have cellulite?

Researchers don't know the exact cause of cellulite, but they do have theories about why women have it and men don't.

  • In women, connective tissue beneath the skin separates fat into channels so it resembles a down quilt. As the fat expands, the connective tissue stays fixed, making the skin appear puckered.
  • Connective tissue in men has more of a criss-cross pattern. So when fat expands, the connective tissue expands with it in both directions and the skin looks smooth.
  • Scientists also think poor circulation plays a role in the development of cellulite.

3. How do cellulite creams work?

Cellulite creams promise to reduce the appearance of dimples with a variety of ingredients including emollients that hydrate and pump up the surface of the skin.

  • Ingredients like caffeine supposedly reduce fluid retention, so the layers beneath look firmer.
  • Retinol, the anti-wrinkle vitamin-A derivative, is often included. In theory, it thickens the outer layer of skin so the fat pockets don't show as much.
  • One ingredient purported to actually reduce thigh circumference is a cream version of aminophylline. When applied topically, it's said to stimulate the breakdown of fat.
  • Early studies showed some promising results, but more recent studies have shown only modest improvement, if any.

4. Are cellulite creams effective?

While they may temporarily improve an "orange peel" appearance, there's no evidence that the creams reduce cellulite or help get rid of it permanently – their effects are visible only for a short period of time.

  • Any results you may observe don't last if you stop using the creams, because the products don't actually treat the layer of fat beneath the skin.

Many women want to get rid of cellulite, but their options are limited. Before choosing a treatment approach, find out about what's available and whether it's proven to work.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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