10 Myths And Facts About Cellulite

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Do you have cellulite? Be honest, and don’t worry about saying ‘yes’ if you really do. The basic truth is that far more people have cellulite than you might think, including men.

The problem with cellulite is that there is a lot of conflicting information out there about it. This includes what cellulite actually is, why it occurs, what can be done to reduce it, and whether or not there is a true, permanent cause.

All of the rumours you hear about cellulite are enough to confuse you, so it’s important to understand the myths and facts about cellulite, and understand the difference between the two. Luckily for you, we’re going to talk about 10 of the most specific myths and facts, so you can clear your mind and focus on the truth.

First things first, let’s explore what cellulite actually is.

What is Cellulite?

Cellulite isn’t dangerous to your health and isn’t going to cause you any major problems. What it may do is erode your self-confidence if you become fixated on it and start to hate your appearance in the mirror. This is something which affects many people, especially women, and as a result they avoid the beach or the pool, and cover up areas which they really don’t need to.

You should also be very careful about confusing cellulite with something altogether more serious – cellulitis. Cellulitis is an infection of the skin and surrounding area and should be treated urgently. This is a hot, red, sore, and sometimes itchy area, which requires medical treatment. Cellulite is a nuisance, but not something which requires medical help.

So, what is cellulite?

Cellulite is sometimes referred to as ‘orange peel’, ‘mattress effect’, or ‘cottage cheese’ and this is down to the appearance. There are several different grades of cellulitis, measuring the indentations, the bumps, and the sagging of the skin. The mildest version of cellulite is referred to as ‘orange peel’, the moderate is referred to as ‘cottage cheese’, and the more several version is the ‘mattress effect or phenomenon’.

Whichever grade you have, and you’ll only be graded if you seek out cosmetic treatments, such as laser, it’s important to always remember that there is no risk to your health here at all, and only a risk to your confidence, if you allow it to be that way.

The top layer of the skin is the part which shows the effects of cellulite, and it is caused by deposits of fat below the superficial layer, pushing up against the connective tissues which sit underneath the skin. The more these fat deposits or pockets push, the weaker the connective tissue can become, and that is why you see that dimpled effect known as cellulite.

As you can see, there is nothing serious in that description, simply a visual effect which you can either live with, or which you can’t. If you can’t live with it, there are several cosmetic treatments you can look into, such as the laser we mentioned earlier, to try and reduce the effects of cellulite. What you should bear in mind is that there is currently no 100% proven treatment for cellulite which is considered permanent. However, when used in conjunction with lifestyle and dietary changes, some cosmetic treatments are effective over the long-term.

10 Myths And Facts About Cellulite

There is so much information out there that you might not be sure what to trust and what to ignore. Let’s check out 10 myths and facts about cellulite, to help you focus on the right stuff, versus the wrong stuff.

Facts About Cellulite

Between 80-90% of Women Will Get Cellulite at Some Point in Their Lives

Women are more susceptible to cellulite and we’ll talk about why exactly in a moment. What you should know is that it’s extremely common in females, so if you have it and you’re lamenting the fact, take heart in the fact that it’s quite likely that most of your female friends and family have it too!

It is thought that between 80-90% of all women will experience cellulite at some point in their lives. The problem is, once you’ve got it, unless you focus on reducing it or getting rid of it, it’s quite likely to be there for the rest of your days. In this case, you need to decide whether you can live with it, or whether you need to seek out cosmetic treatment to reduce it. Only you can decide, but remember that it’s certainly not harmful to your health.

Men Can Also Get Cellulite

Think cellulite is only for women? Think again! Whilst women are far more likely to develop cellulite than men, it’s not unheard of. The trouble spots for both genders are the buttocks, thighs, and abdomen, but it’s entirely possible to get it anywhere on the body.

The reason that women are more susceptible is due to a difference in the arrangement of the connective tissue underneath the top layer of skin. In women, this is arranged in a vertical pattern, however for men, it’s a criss cross affair. Criss cross is a far stronger arrangement and there is less chance of the appearance being prominent in this case. The vertical arrangement however means there is a higher chance of being able to see some amount of dimpling or draping.

Think of your connective tissues as scaffolding. The more there is, the less chance of cellulite.

Cellulite Can Worsen With Age

For women especially, if you have any sign of cellulite prior to middle age, the chances of having more when you hit that time of your life is much higher. The reason is down to hormones in this case. As women age, their oestrogen supply is far lower, and when this occurs, circulation is less and there is less collagen within the skin.

Connective tissue also ages and becomes a little weaker, which allows fat deposits to push up from beneath the surface.

The latter is also a risk for men, because even though they have a criss cross pattern to their connective tissue, as it becomes older, it has less strength and is therefore more susceptible to dimpling.

Cellulite May be Genetic

It’s a grey area, but it’s thought that if your parents or grandparents had cellulite, than you have a higher chance of developing it yourself. This is because our genes contain information which shapes how our bodies run, including circulatory information, metabolic rate, and the way in which you age. All of these have an effect on whether or not you have a higher risk of developing cellulite, and we know that genes are inherited from our parents.

In that case, it’s worth checking with your family members whether they have cellulite and if they do, start to make dietary and lifestyle changes now, to reduce the effects for you in later life.

Exercise Can Reduce The Appearance of Cellulite

Whilst exercise alone isn’t going to get rid of cellulite, there is a good chance that regular exercise, particularly strength and cardio combined, will help to tone the body, strengthen connective tissues and muscles, and also keep the amount of fat in your body at bay.

All of this works to reduce the chances of you developing cellulite in the first place, but that’s not a 100% definite either. What exercise can do however is tone up the areas where you have it and therefore reduce the appearance to a certain degree. Will it get rid completely? Unfortunately, no.

Focus on swimming and yoga poses which target the buttocks and thighs for the best results.

Skin Fillers Can Help to Even Out Cellulite

You’re right to be wary of the number of cosmetic treatments and creams/potions that claim to get rid of cellulite, but certain skin fillers can help to temporarily reduce the effects. Look for Restylane and Radiesse as two of the most reputable. These are injected into the area and helps to fill out the dimpled part and perk up the entire area. As a result, the whole area looks even and less saggy, but it does tend to work better on someone who is a little skinner, compared to someone who is a little overweight.

What you should bear in mind however is that skin fillers are expensive and they only last for a few months, so you’ll need to keep getting top ups.

Myths About Cellulite

Now we know the facts, what nuggets of information should you cast to one side? If you hear these claims, ignore them.

Bodily Toxins Cause Cellulite

No, they don’t. We’ve already explained what causes cellulite, and it has nothing to do with toxins building up within your body. Sure, toxins aren’t a healthy thing, but they’re not going to cause cellulite.

You’ll see many creams and lotions claim to detox the body of impurities and toxins and therefore reduce the appearance of cellulite, but in most cases this is a marketing ploy as there is no scientific evidence to back up the claims.

Only Overweight People Have Cellulite

It’s entirely possible for a skinny person to have cellulite, purely because their connective tissues aren’t as strong as they should be, or as they once were. Sure, it’s more likely for someone overweight to have cellulite, but it’s certainly not rare to see athletic and skinny body types with cellulite too.

This is also something which is affected by genetics, as we mentioned earlier, and whether skinny or otherwise, you can’t change your genes!

Cardio Exercise Alone Will Rid You of Cellulite

You might think that if you focus on reducing body fat, you’ll reduce cellulite. Wrong. Yes, cardio will help you to lose body fat, but you need to focus on strength training as well if you want to make any difference to the amount of cellulite you have. Earlier on we mentioned swimming and yoga poses, and if you use these in conjunction with cardio, you may see a difference. Simply running alone or focusing on simple cardio exercises will not touch your cellulite to any major degree.

Skin Firming Creams Are The Answer to Cellulite

If this was true, the skin firming industry would be seriously booming and there would be no need to think about other treatments, such as laser. There would be no debate about how to get rid of cellulite in that case.

The truth is that most skin firming creams don’t do much for cellulite at all, with just one exception. Products which contain retinoids (you’ll see it called Retinol) may have an effect, but only a temporary one. This is because it thickens the skin, so it covers the dimples and takes away the appearance. This won’t work for everyone however, and if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, steer clear of these products.

Generally speaking however, skin firming creams are not going to do much for your cellulite, if anything at all, and they will simply cause you to have less cash, with nothing to really show for it. In addition, Retinol products are quite expensive and that’s a big investment to make in something that may or may not work for you.


And there you have it, the truth versus the myths. The myths and facts about cellulite can be confusing if you don’t know the reality of the situation. The bottom line is that cellulite is something you can live with if it doesn’t bother you, but if it does have some impact on your life, the best options to reduce it are to make changes to your lifestyle and diet, and to possibly think about treatment such as laser. These won’t last forever and will need to be topped up every so often, whilst also costing money. However, if it helps you to feel better in yourself, surely it’s a good investment?

Learning to know the facts and understand them over the myths will help you to plan the way forward, with the right information to hand.

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10 Myths And Facts About Cellulite
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