What Exactly are these Bumps on my Legs? Explaining Cellulite

Cellulite is the lumpy substance commonly found on the thighs, stomach, and butt. You may have heard people say it looks like “cottage cheese.” Cellulite is actually a fancy name for collections of fat that push against the connective tissue beneath a person’s skin. The fat is contained in pockets and push up and outwards when there is pressure. This makes the surface of the skin pucker and look lumpy.

That pressure forces the fat right up against the top layers of skin, pushes upward because that’s the only place the fat can move. This creates a visibly dimpled look on the surface. When multiple fat compartments expand, multiple hills pop up and cellulite spreads across a wider surface area.

Imagine a room with an elastic, trampoline-like ceiling that’s packed out with as many standard-sized balloons as possible–they’d all fit, albeit snugly within the walls of the room.

Now imagine that those same balloons–still within the same room–all doubled in size. You’d have massive amounts of pressure pushing on all 4 walls due to the lack of space. Like the connective tissue between each compartment of fat cells, walls are sturdy and won’t budge, which gives the balloons only one option–to push upwards into the elastic ceiling, stretching it out and creating a “bumpy” roof.

You can check to see if you have cellulite by pinching the skin around your upper thigh. If it looks a bit lumpy, you probably have it. If you do have cellulite, you’re definitely not alone: Most girls and women — and some men — have cellulite.

Several things influence whether a person has cellulite and how much they have. Your genes, gender, the amount of fat content on your body, your age, and the thickness of your skin, are all associated with the amount of cellulite you have or how visible it is.

Even top models can have cellulite, however if you have it, it can be a conscientious cause for embarrassment. Almost everyone wishes that something about their body was a different. whether it’s clearer skin, tighter stomach, or smoother thighs. This is particularly true for teenagers when their bodies go through a flood of hormonal changes dictated primarily by genetics.

If you decide that you want to try to reduce the amount of cellulite you have, the best thing to do is to decrease excess body fat. If you think that you are overweight (and your doctor agrees), eat fewer calories and exercise more.

Check in next time to see how you can treat that stubborn cellulite!

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