The word strikes fear in women everywhere: cellulite. Although most women are afraid of getting cellulite, the fact is that nearly every woman experiences it at some point. A Greeley skin clinic can provide personalized treatment, but it also helps to understand what cellulite is and push past the misconceptions. Here are six common myths about cellulite.

Myth: Toxins Causes Cellulite

There are a lot of rumors about what causes cellulite, but the real cause is weak connective tissue under the skin. It usually occurs in the hips, butt, and thighs, where people tend to have the most fat stored. When the fibers underneath the skin are weak or lose elasticity, fat starts to poke through, which is what creates the uneven “cottage cheese” look of cellulite.

Myth: Only Overweight People Get Cellulite

Although cellulite is often more noticeable on people who are overweight, people of all sizes and body types can get cellulite. Cellulite affects the fat cells under the skin, so the more fat you have, the more likely you are to have cellulite. That doesn’t mean that smaller or underweight people can’t also get cellulite from weak connective tissue because everyone has at least some fat under their skin. Cellulite is also affected by age, hormones, genetics, and lifestyle. There isn’t a single factor that contributes to the cause of cellulite, but rather a combination of many factors.

Myth: Cellulite Affects Everyone the Same

Although some men have cellulite, it is predominately experienced by women. That’s because women tend to carry more fat around their hips and thighs, where cellulite thrives, and don’t have as strong of connective tissue as men. Cellulite also gets worse as people get older. People at any age can get cellulite, but the risk and severity increase with age.

Myth: Nothing Can Reduce the Appearance of Cellulite

There are a number of treatment options for cellulite. One of the most natural is regular exercise, which lowers the amount of fat in the body and can help tone and strengthen the connective tissue that causes cellulite. The best exercise routine to lessen cellulite is a mix of cardio and weight training. Cellulite can also be less noticeable in people who eat a healthy diet of high-fiber and protein foods and who drink a lot of water. A healthy diet helps firm skin and can lower the amount of fat on a person’s body.

Myth: Creams and Lotions Can Cure Cellulite

Nothing can permanently cure cellulite. Some creams and lotions claim to reduce the appearance of cellulite, but those results aren’t guaranteed. Studies have found that the best results come from products that contain retinoids, which may help camouflage bumps. Creams and laser treatments can help skin feel firmer and even out the bumps for a more temporary fix. Some laser treatments have shown to reduce the appearance of cellulite within a year, but they still don’t permanently remove cellulite. Massage can also improve blood flow and lead to firmer thighs and hips. These treatments can help people who feel self-conscious about cellulite. However, that’s a long way from actually curing cellulite.

Myth: Cellulite Affects Your Overall Health

Most doctors agree that cellulite is a fairly isolated condition and won’t impact other areas of your health. Just because you have cellulite doesn’t mean you’re going to have a heart condition, for example. However, large fat deposits that contribute to visible cellulite can be connected to other health conditions. In general, people who are living a healthy lifestyle and exercising will have less visible cellulite and also better overall health. Not having cellulite isn’t the direct connection to better health.

Cellulite is a very common condition that most people have to deal with. While it isn’t a health risk, taking steps to improve your healthy lifestyle choices can improve its appearance. For more questions about cellulite and possible treatment options, talk to your dermatologist.