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Cellulite is a local skin change that occurs mostly in post pubertal females. It presents as a modification of skin topography evident by skin dimpling and nodularity that happens mainly in women on the pelvic region, lower limbs, and abdomen, and is caused by the herniation of subcutaneous fat within fibrous connective tissue, leading to a padded or orange peel–like appearance. Cellulite is a description rather than a physical object. The prevailing medical opinion is that it is merely the "normal condition of many women".
In fact, cellulite affects people whether they are overweight or not. Biochemically, cellulite does not behave any differently than other fat, and there is no health risk from cellulite (some evidence even suggests that lower extremity fat is protective against chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease).
The causes of cellulite involve changes in metabolism physiology and dieting too hard or too much, such as gender-specific dimorphic skin architecture, alteration of connective tissue structure, hormonal factors, genetic factors, the microcirculatory system, the extracellular matrix, and subtle inflammatory alterations.
- Hormonal factors: Hormones play a dominant role in the formation of cellulite. Estrogen may be the important hormone to initiate and aggravate cellulite. However, there has been no reliable clinical evidence to support such a claim.
- Genetic factors: There is a genetic element in individual susceptibility to cellulite.
- Predisposing factors: Several factors have been shown to affect the development of cellulite. Gender, race, biotype, distribution of subcutaneous fat, and predisposition to lymphatic and circulatory insufficiency have all been shown to contribute to cellulite.
- Lifestyle: A high stress lifestyle will cause an increase in the level of catecholamines, which have also been associated with the evolution of cellulite.
- Lack of Exercise: Lack of exercise and the inactivity of our lifestyle contribute to the formation of cellulite. When you exercise and burn calories off the body, the less likely you will gain weight. It helps to improve blood flow, hence, decreasing the chances of developing cellulite or at least reducing the ugly effect as much as possible.
- Aging: Another factor that contributes to the development of cellulite is due to aging. It is common that women develop cellulite after the age of 30 or in some cases during adolescence years, anytime after puberty. As you age, the surface of skin thins and loses its elasticity; causing fat deposits under the overlying skin becomes more noticeable.
Others: Other causes of cellulite include smoking, tension, fatigue, drugs, and alcohol.
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