As weather gets warmer, attention turns to cellulite

  • Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 1:06 a.m.

I think spring is finally here, which of course means shorts, tanks and hopefully soon, bathing suits and bikinis! I have olive skin and don’t get really white but still don’t like my “white” legs when putting on a pair of shorts. White skin shows every vein, dimple, imperfection. When your skin is brown or tan, it hides many of these blemishes, or at least the illusion is there. Today, I would like to go over cellulite, that frustrating “dimply” stuff which even skinny women can deal with!

It is amazing the information that is out there about cellulite! It is a billion dollar industry with all the creams lotions, wraps, surgeries and more. In most articles I researched, it mentioned that at least 80 percent of women feel they have cellulite. Lets first look at what cellulite is.

Cellulite, or dimpling of the skin, is primarily a women’s problem. No one really understands the cause of cellulite. Your genetic makeup does have a lot to do with it. Some studies show that 85-98 percent of post-pubescent females display some degree of cellulite. (That coincides with the 80 percent of women that feel they have it!) Cellulite is not related to being overweight. Average and underweight women may also experience cellulite. Unless a man has hormonal problems, men usually don’t show any signs of cellulite. Did you know that the term cellulite originated in France more than 150 years ago? It started appearing in the English language in the late 1960s, the earliest reference in Vogue magazine. Cellulite has been found to be indistinguishable from ordinary fat in every medical and scientific test. It is not proven whether any cosmetic lotion, massager or pills can reduce cellulite versus ordinary fat. The only known way to reduce the appearance of cellulite is to reduce overall body fat by altering your eating habits and exercise, although it still may remain visible on very slim women.

As I was surfing the Net, I was amazed by the products out there to reduce and/or eliminate cellulite. Lots of products, which are backed up by doctors, show pictures with huge changes in only 8 weeks? Like I said earlier, it is a billion dollar industry with a 4 week supply starting “only” at $200. Another new way to get rid of cellulite is laser treatments and injections. Besides the enormous cost, there still is no solid medical proof that it actually works. But many people who are spending this kind of money feel that there is improvement of their skin. (It better be, spending thousands of dollars!)

Another study published in the journal Dermatologic Surgery in 1999, researchers found that methylxanthine (one form of which is caffeine) creams reduced fat cells in skin, with visible results in about 8 weeks. The higher the concentration of methylxanthine, the better the cream worked. One doctor says that caffeine creams work great to pull fluids out of the spaces between cells and induce lipolysis (fat burning in the layer just below the skin’s surface). This is just information I found, which does not mean I agree with all of it. However, the only negative I read about the creams/lotion is that you may get a rash or irritation from the product. (And hit your pocket book)

Exercise and a healthy diet are one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to smooth out those unwanted cellulite lumps and bumps. Any exercise should help reduce and prevent the appearance of more cellulite. The more regular you work out, the better your chance for change is. Maybe you need to add a strength program with a regular cardio program you already have in place. Try cross training — In all the different papers I read, it continued to contribute healthy skin to exercise, a healthy diet and adequate hydration. I guess that is where the term “You are what you eat” came from.

Ester H Marsh ACSM Cpt Associate Executive and Health and Fitness Director JF Hurley Family YMCA

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