• The terms cottage cheese, orange peel, mattress phenomenon, and hail damage shouldn't bring to mind images of cellulite, but sadly, they do. Cellulite is reported to affect over 80% of women today. Described as visible dimpling and bumpy looking fat on the body; Cellulite is not an actual disease, but it can be just as debilitating. Don't believe all the hype about surgical procedures to cure cellulite though, because you could be conned out of a lot of money to treat an incredibly tricky and persistent condition.

    The root causes of cellulite remain unknown, but scientists have discovered and identified the trigger factors. Usually occurring after puberty in both men and women, though more often in women, fat cells become swollen and enlarged, pressing on the connective fibers and tissues which surround them. This process makes skin thicker, and as the fat cells press against the overlying tissues, skin becomes pulled down in sections to reveal the dimpled and uneven texture known as cellulite.

    A common misconception is that only overweight people get cellulite when, in fact, thin people are just as prone. Cellulite is directly linked to hormone production, especially estrogen, which is why women are much more prone to exhibit symptoms. Because of this, birth control and hormone supplements can increase the appearance and amount of cellulite on the body.

    There are four different stages of cellulite on the body, and you can determine your level by performing the pinch test. Pinch a small amount of leg skin between your thumb and index finger. If no dimpling occurs, you are a level 0. Level one occurs when you can only see cellulite when you pinch your skin. Level two is when the appearance of cellulite is more noticeable when lying down. Finally, level three is occurs when cellulite can be seen at all times, without pinching your skin.

    Cellulite can also be categorized into loose and hard cellulite. If your cellulite wobbles a little when you walk, this is loose cellulite and is much easier to treat. Hard cellulite is more commonly found in muscular women and is harder to treat because it adheres more strongly to the muscle tissues.

    Contrary to popular belief, going under the knife isn't always the best option to reduce cellulite. Drawing pockets of fat out of your skin won't just clear the appearance of cellulite for good. Yes, skin will be firmer for a while, and fat pockets will be reduced, but when the skin settles again it is very common for cellulite to reappear. Instead, try using a firming treatment infused with Vitamins E and C. They will work to firm and smooth your skin to reduce the appearance of dimpling without invasive procedures.

    Age, diet, and exercise are also important factors to consider. Eating a fiber-rich diet, exercising regularly, and caring for your skin as you age will greatly reduce the appearance of cellulite. So, don't just let your skin slack off. Whip it into shape and change the factors you can to reduce cellulite and feel more comfortable in your own skin.