What Is the Most Effective Treatment for Cellulite?
Because you can’t spend your life in a cover-up, here are the best ways to deal with those lumps and bumps.
First let’s get the bad news out of the way: There’s still no
easy cure for cellulite, a condition that plagues roughly 85 percent of
women over the age of 20. That said, there are some things you can do to
downplay its appearance.
What Is Cellulite?
your skin, there’s a network of connective-tissue strands, called
septae, that hold the fat in place. If the septae aren’t strong and
tightly woven together (which may be determined by genetics), the fat
can bulge out between them, creating ripples on the skin’s
surface—a.k.a. cellulite. Women are more likely than men to have
cellulite, since they have fewer and less tightly arranged septae. Women
also have thinner skin, as well as hormones that can affect the size of
fat cells and the strength of the septae. To truly eliminate the
problem, says dermatologist Molly Wanner, an instructor at Harvard
Medical School, “you would have to get rid of the fat and, essentially,
change the interior structure of the skin.”
The Weight-Loss Factor
Because half the cellulite equation is
fat, it would seem that losing weight through diet and exercise would
help. And it might—but that depends on your skin’s elasticity. “If your
skin bounces back after weight loss, you may notice a reduction in
cellulite,” says Wanner. However, she adds, if your skin isn’t quite so
resilient (hormones and aging could be partly to blame), “it can sag,
which can make bumps look worse.”