What is cellulite?

The majority of all women have cellulite of some degree. But what is it really? Why does the skin take on the appearance known as cellulite?

It is not a disease
First of all it is important to clear up one thing – it is inaccurate to refer to cellulite as a disease. Some people see it as a natural condition for the female body. A brief way to describe cellulite is that it is a cosmetic effect on the skin.

This phenomenon is easily felt and it creates bumps and dimples in the skin. You can compare it to the peel of an orange. Orange peel syndrome is an alternative name for cellulite. There are no symptoms or unhealthy effects connected to cellulite.

What causes cellulite
The short explanation for what causes cellulite is an expansion of the fatty tissue in the subcutaneous layer of the skin, which protrudes to the outer layers of the skin to create bumps and dimples on the skin.

CelluliteGraphics2
A visualisation of what causes the visual effects of cellulite

What are cellulite
The long explanation includes briefly explaining the construction of the skin. The skin is made up of three layers. The outer layer of the skin is what we can see from the outside. Under this layer we find a part of the skin called dermis, the middle layer of the skin. Dermis contains amongst other things sweat glands, hair follicles and veins, just to mention a few. Under dermis there is a layer of fat tissue. This tissue is fat cells held together by binding tissue. The fatty tissue is not constructed as coherent layers, it is divided into larger fat cell arrangements connected by binding tissue. Sometimes these are referred to as adipose tissue.

What happens when cellulite develop is that the number of fat cells in the separate chambers of fat cells making up the fatty tissue increases. The arrangements grow in size as a result, and when they reach a certain size they cause bumps in the outer skin layers. Between these bumps there will sometimes be a development of dimples.

Cellulite can occur anywhere on the body. It will first appear on body parts with the most subcutaneous fat. The most afflicted parts of the body are the buttocks and the thighs. If the appearance causes a bother, there are many ways to address it. The measure with the best long term effect is exercise. For even better results you can combine the exercise with fat burning supplements.