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Cellulite—a familiar foe to women across America. The uneven, dimpled skin that hurts the bikini industry but builds that of the beach sarong; the campaign to get rid of cottage cheese skin has never been so intense. In 2008, the market for cellulite-reduction services and products collectively banked a whopping $47 million dollars, according to the Millennium Research Group. It is projected that by 2013 that number will spike to $63 mill; if that doesn't demonstrate the panic I don't know what will.
But what is cellulite and what causes it exactly? Cellulite is the product of either a fatty-cell overload, or evidence of having a very thin outer skin wall. It all boils down to the construction of women's connective, muscular and fatty tissues. For men, the connective bands under the skin make a crisscrossed pattern that forms a kind of net to keep fat firmly in place. In contrast, women's connective tissue structure is more linear, column-like formation, which excess fat will push through, creating the orange-peel like texture. It can also appear if the outer skin wall is unusually thin, which will also accentuate the fat layers beneath.
$47 million was spent in a single year in an attempt to get rid of cellulite, knowing that one would assume there are products out there that work, right? Eh, yes and no. The most readily accessible products are over-the-counter lotions and creams are designed hide visible cellulite, typically only temporarily. Usually there is some active ingredient in these products that mildly irritates the skin so that it swells slightly, pulling the skin taught and eliminating the cottage cheese texture. Using these products regularly may have some lasting results, but they certainly don't represent a definite cure.
Working out strategic areas of your body won't likely eliminate cellulite deposits either. Just because you're on the stair machine for an hour each day and leave the gym with a burning tukas, doesn't mean your results will appear in your rear. Your body's unique genetic makeup is the dictator of where your body will store, and lose fat—these two don't necessarily match up. More often than not, when you shed weight, it comes from all over your body, not from specific, targeted areas.
Liposuction, laser treatments and other somewhat invasive techniques aren't sure-shot guarantees either. Although liposuction removes unwanted fat stores, the natural structure of the connective bands keeping fat on the inside would be the things to alter to expect such results.
That being said, many doctors today are proposing that cellulite may be a natural part of the sexual maturation process of women. Cellulite begins to show after girls have gone through puberty, and since men don't get it, the idea is that cellulite acquisition may be a natural part of becoming an adult woman. This isn't the happy ending us ladies were hoping for, but at least you're better educated now about one of your biggest enemies. And hey, keep your enemies closer, right?