The Myths and Facts About Cellulite Reduction
The dimpled appearance often described as orange peel or cottage cheese skin affects 80-90% of women over the age of 20. By contrast, it only occurs in about 10% of males. These figures alone serve to dispel one of the common myths about cellulite. Although losing weight may aid in its reduction, whatever may be claimed to the contrary, this is certainly not a condition that is only seen in subjects who are overweight. That said, the embarrassing lumps are actually deposits of fat. However, these are only visible because of an underlying weakness in the layer of subcutaneous connective tissue fibres that would normally serve to constrain them.
Why should there be such a marked difference between the statistics for men and women? The very fact that there is a difference serves to highlight one of the reasons as hormonal and explains, in part, why women are most often in need of treatments to promote cellulite reduction. Lifestyle, ethnicity, and genetic factors also play a role, but a more general explanation stems from the basic difference in the architecture of the skin between the sexes. Arranged in parallel in females, but forming a criss-cross, lattice-like structure in males, the connective tissue fibres in the latter are better able to constrain the layer of adipose tissue beneath, which is, therefore, less prone to the effect responsible for orange-peel skin.
Another of the more common myths about this condition is that it is caused by an accumulation of toxins. This is a myth that the industry has been quick to exploit with various over-the-counter products. However, there is no scientific evidence to support the manufacturers’ claims that detox treatments have any value as a means of cellulite reduction. Incidentally, skin-firming creams won’t help either.
For a more positive outcome, there is no doubt that physical exercise, although not a cure per se, can be highly effective in lessening the dimpled appearance and as a means of preventing its formation in those who have not yet developed it. The effect of exercise is to stretch, strengthen, and restore the elasticity of weakened connective tissue fibres, whilst also burning off some of the excess fat. These actions, together, result in a smoothing of the skin and thus a lessening of the lumpy appearance.
A word of warning – forget jogging and other cardio routines. Only strength training directed at the affected areas will result in the sought-after cellulite reduction. Furthermore, if you would like to achieve in weeks what might otherwise take months at a conventional gym, contact a Body20 studio and ask about a personalised EMS programme.