Health24 Feb 2010 04:39 pm
The bane of most adult women everywhere, cellulite is an unsightly cosmetic condition that occurs when the skin of the thighs, buttocks, abdomen and/or pelvic region develop a dimpled and uneven appearance. It is the phantom that jeers at you during bathing suit season, stalks you in dressing rooms and drives women to avoid lights-on romps in bed. Even though it is a descriptive term rather than an actual “physical” condition, it is all too real to those afflicted with the blight of “cottage cheese” thighs.
Most women (even thin ones) start getting cellulite after puberty. However, most men (even fat ones) never develop it, because the connective tissue under men’s skin is crisscrossed like a net, which better restrains their fatty deposits. Women’s tissue bands are organized in vertical columns instead (why God why?), so fat is more likely to bulge irregularly. Moreover, thanks to estrogen, women have more fatty reserves to begin with.
Sadly, no “cure” currently exists for the treatment of cellulite. This has presented the beauty industry with a perfect opportunity to make a lot of money off women’s anxiety about their looks (nothing new there). Hundreds of cellulite “treatments” abound, from contour-refining lotions to massage machines with laser light sources. Despite the dubious efficacy of these products, cellulite reduction devices generated more that $47 million dollars in revenue in 2008, and industry insiders predict that it will grow to $62 million by 2013.
However, dermatologists say that a lasting cellulite remedy would have to address the complex interplay between skin, fat, connective tissue and underlying muscle. In sum, ladies shouldn’t hold their breath for a “cure” to come along anytime soon.
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