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Most women know what cellulite looks like on the outside. The condition is often compared to the peel of an orange because cellulite has the same bumpy or dimpled appearance. So what does cellulite look like on the inside? You might imagine cellulite as a bunch of tiny fat-filled balloons caught between layers of tissue that are connected by large rubber bands.

Underneath the top layers of your skin (the epidermis and dermis) fat cells store excess energy. Small bands of connective tissue run vertically between these fat cells and connect the top layers of skin to deeper tissue in your body.



But when fat cells expand, the chambers get more crowded and begin to bulge, creating a small bump on the top of the skin. The bands, however, remain tethered to deeper tissue and this creates a “valley” appearance on the top of the skin.

The combination of bulges and valleys on the top of the skin creates dimpling that we call cellulite.

In some clinical settings the look of your cellulite may be graded. There are three grades of cellulite appearance.



Grade 1 cellulite: You have smooth skin while laying down and standing up.
Grade 2 cellulite:  You have smooth skin while laying down, but some dimpling appears while standing.
Grade 3 cellulite: Dimpling appears while you are standing and laying down.



So why do we get “cottage cheese” or “orange peel” thighs? There is no single answer. The possible causes of cellulite include hormonal changes, genetics, weight gain or weight loss, a poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle or smoking. Some even say that tight clothing and frequent sitting can cause cellulite.
But most active healthy women will report that even with a good diet and exercise program, cellulite can occur. The way fat is distributed on your body may predispose you to cellulite and your genes may cause dimply thighs as well. Since so many different factors can cause cellulite, almost all women will get it at some time on some part of their body.

If you are overweight, losing weight may help, but not always. In some people, weight loss helps to prevent or minimize the appearance of cellulite. But in others, losing weight can actually cause the condition to become more noticeable. Loose skin, which often happens after significant weight loss, can allow the appearance of cellulite to become more noticeable. Of course, fear of cellulite shouldn’t factor into your decision to reach a healthy weight. Not everyone who loses weight will end up with cellulite. But if you have cellulite before you slim down, there is no guarantee that weight loss will make it disappear.

There are a few things, however, that may help prevent cellulite. Taking care of your skin is helpful to reduce the appearance of cellulite. Most experts also recommend that you :



  • maintain a healthy body weight
  • do muscle toning exercises for the thighs and belly.
  • quit smoking
  • eat foods that are full of healthy nutrients, and
  • use sunscreen properly to help keep skin smoother, tighter and more elastic. Tighter skin can help to reduce the appearance of cellulite



Unfortunately, there is no way to permanently remove all of the cellulite on the backs of your thighs, your tummy or your butt. There are ways to make it less noticeable and there are ways to get rid of some of the cottage cheese appearance, but there is no “cure”. it is important to develop reasonable expectations when you investigate different cellulite treatments.

Each patient is consulted on what to expect. In general, the patient can expect a 40-50% improvement in cellulite with the treatments that we offer. But results will depend on your commitment to healthy eating, exercise and a healthy lifestyle.

There is also a positive psychological component to these procedures and we see it on our patients’ bodies and on their faces. Skin tightening and cellulite treatments can even boost your weight loss program by improving your self-confidence.

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