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TEEN HEALTH



Published: Fri, July 12, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



TEEN HEALTH

What is cellulite?

TEENSHEALTH.ORG

Cellulite, the lumpy substance resembling cottage cheese that is commonly found on the thighs, stomach and rear, is actually a fancy name for collections of fat that push against the connective tissue beneath your skin. This causes the surface of the skin to look kind of like the dimpled or puckered surface of an orange peel.

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. And if you do have cellulite, you're definitely not alone -- most girls and women, and some guys and men, have cellulite.

The amount of cellulite a person has is influenced by several factors. Your genes, your gender, the amount of fat 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.

Whatever the causes are, it's important to know that there aren't any miracle products, treatments or medicines that can eliminate cellulite. For example, some fancy salon treatments that promise to get rid of cellulite simply cause your skin to puff up through deep massaging, temporarily reducing the appearance of cellulite. Treatments like liposuction and mesotherapy (injection of drugs into cellulite) are either expensive or, at best, produce only temporary improvement.

To reduce the amount of cellulite you have, the best thing to do is to decrease excess body fat by eating foods with fewer calories and less fat in addition to exercising. Experts agree that an exercise routine that combines aerobic exercise with strength training is the best weapon against cellulite. If you want to conceal your cellulite in the meantime, try using a self-tanner, because cellulite tends to be a little bit less noticeable on darker skin.

XFor other health articles written just for teens, go online to http://www.TeensHealth.org.




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