Time to squash these lies about cottage cheese thighs.
As soon as you crack open a tabloid magazine, you see pictures of celebrities at the beach below a headline that reads, “OMG, X has cellulite!” How shameful, how gross, the messaging implies. So naturally, you may be inclined to rush to nearest drugstore or the first plastic surgery website that pops up on Google, and search for a quick fix to rid of any sign of “cottage cheese” from your thighs. Well, the cellulite stigma stops here. Here are four common misconceptions about cellulite causes and treatments.
Myth: Cellulite is just excess fat
Cellulite involves fat, but there’s more to the picture. Your body has connective fibers that attach your skin to your muscles. When fat accumulates between these layers, it pushes the skin up, while those connective fibers pull the skin down. These pockets of fat can make the skin look dimpled, which causes cellulite.
Myth: Only overweight or obese people get cellulite
Cellulite is VERY common—about 80-90 percent of women have it (some men too!). People of all shapes, sizes, and colors, and even people who are thin, can get cellulite.
Why? Everyone has a layer of fat under the skin and genes may also play a role. However, because that layer of fat can increase if you gain weight and therefore put more pressure on those connective fibers, being overweight can make can make cellulite more noticeable.
Myth: You can get rid of cellulite with topical creams or surgery
Don’t waste your money on pricey cellulite creams or plastic surgery. There are no existing treatments that have yet been shown to get rid of cellulite.
Liposuction, a procedure where a surgeon removes excess body fat by suction using special surgical equipment, is NOT recommended for cellulite and may actually make it look worse.
Myth: There’s nothing you can do about cellulite
Even though there’s no cure or specific treatment that can rid of cellulite completely, you can minimize its appearance. Here are some tips to help make cellulite less noticeable:
- Lose weight if you need to (slowly—no yo-yo dieting).
- Strength train to tone your muscles.
- Eat a produce-rich and high-fiber diet.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Try a sunless tanner; it can make cellulite look more subtle.
It’s important to remember that cellulite is common and it’s not harmful to your health. If its appearance is bothering you, however, the above tips can help.
Cellulite: an evidence-based review. Darmstadt, Germany: Rosenpark Research, Wilhelminenstraße. (Accessed on June 13th https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25940753)
Cellulite. Medical Encyclopedia, US National Library of Medicine. (Accessed on June 13th https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002033.htm)