celluliteWhile trying on bathing suits to determine which one is the most flattering (or covers me up the most without looking odd), I became frightened. Cellulite is overtaking me like a bad case of poison ivy. It is showing its ugly face in places I never realized it could happen. Then in my NursePlummer way, I thought it might help to share with others about cellulite – to take the focus off of myself.

What is cellulite and how did it happen in such a scary way? To begin my research, I went to the National Institute of Health (NIH) Medline site and found a helpful article in Scientific American that answered some of my questions.

What is cellulite? According to the NIH, “cellulite is fat that collects in pockets just below the surface of the skin. It forms around the hips, thighs, and buttocks. Cellulite deposits cause the skin to look dimpled.” It doesn’t matter if you are overweight or not, women can still get cellulite.

What makes cellulite so visible? More from the NIH: “Everyone has layers of fat under the skin so even thin people can have cellulite. Collagen fibers that connect fat to the skin may stretch, break down, or pull tight. This allows fat cells to bulge out.”

Does everyone get cellulite or is it the luck of genetics? The NIH states ,“Your genes may play a part in whether or not you have cellulite. Other factors may include your diet, how your body burns energy, hormone changes, and dehydration. “

Is cellulite a female problem? According to Scientific American, 90% of women and only 10% of men in industrialized nations get cellulite. Estrogen is key in fat creation and testosterone breaks down fat.

Do products that advertise a quick and easy fix for ridding the body of cellulite really work? Save your money. According to the NIH “No existing treatments including weight loss, exercise, massages, wraps, creams, supplements, or surgery has yet been shown to get rid of cellulite once you have it. Liposuction is not recommended for cellulite, and may even make it look worse.”

Any hope for the future? Lasers may be a girl’s best friend. The American Academy of Dermatology announced in March, 2014, a new and improved laser technology to treat cellulite. This FDA approved treatment (1440 nanometer laser) can provide “long lasting dramatic results”.

For those of you who are fortunate enough to not have the cellulite gene or those young enough to not have it yet, the NIH offers some tips to avoid cellulite:

  • Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fiber
  • Staying hydrated with plenty of fluids
  • Exercising regularly to keep muscles toned and bones strong
  • Maintaining a healthy weight (no yo-yo dieting)
  • Not smoking

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