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The Scoop on Cellulite

A reader, Beverly H., recently sent in this email:
"I want to go to the beach but feel like wearing a coat! The cellulite on my thighs is just plain unsightly. I'm sure other readers share the same problem. Any advice?"


Well, coincidentally, the NY Times recently published an article on cellulite, the scourge of many a woman. (Yes, ladies, it affects us - not men, generally. Why? Connective tissue band's direction varies among the sexes. Men sport a criss-cross pattern, which keeps the fat distributed all neat and tidy, while the vertical pattern of a woman's tissue tends to let their fat poke through more easily.) As fat cells multiply and/or enlarge, they push up against the skin, creating the dimpling or bulging look that we all love to hate. Cellulite's look has been compared to the surface of an orange, a quilted mattress and of course, cottage cheese. Millions of dollars are being spent in search of ways to treat this dimpling of the skin. So what can be done?

HELPS A LITTLE: Weight loss - While this, along with exercise, can help strengthen muscles in your legs, thighs and butt - common places for cellulite to rear its ugly head - it can only make the cellulite less noticeable, not go away.

DOESN'T HELP - MAY EVEN MAKE THINGS WORSE: Liposuction - While sucking out fat may seem like it will help, it won't - and may even make your cellulite more pronounced.

A TEMPORARY (very temporary) FIX: Vigorous Massage - The swelling produced by massage may give you an appearance of more even skin, but not for long.

DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME: Creams and Injections - What will you get instead? Skin infections, rashes or uneven skin contours.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but cellulite appears to be a hopeless case. It comes around near puberty and settles in for...life. But keeping your weight down and skin toned seems to come closest to any semblance of treatment.

Who knows? Maybe one day someone will find the cure - and get very, very rich - not to mention earn the adoration of women everywhere.

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