Cellulite: Scourge of bikini season

Bikini season is coming up. OK, it’s always bikini season in Miami, which means women are constantly trying on swimsuits and seeing lumpy cottage cheese legs.

Cellulite plagues more than 90 percent of women, whether they are fat, skinny, tall or short. Cellulite occurs in the lower limbs, abdomen and pelvic region, which become dimpled after puberty.

The skin contains three layers of fat. Cellulite usually develops in the subcutaneous fat layer, which is composed of large upright chambers that allow the storage of fat. It forms from changes that occur in the unique structure of the subcutaneous fat layers.

Hormonal factors such as estrogen and folliculine also play a role in cellulite formation. Puberty, pregnancy, menopause and taking birth control pills can all increase the prevalence of cellulite.

To get rid of the unseemly dimples, there are creams, therapies and spa treatments that promise to lessen and eliminate cellulite, but not all of them work. Creams that contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatories are more effective when treating cellulite because they stimulate the blood flow. Herbs, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins can also assist the skin in becoming softer, healthier and smoother, which allows the skin to repair itself more easily.

It is also necessary to strengthen and hydrate your body’s cells and connective tissues. Eating a healthy diet with lots of fruit and leafy greens and avoiding junk food, diet soda, processed food and saturated fats can also rid the body of cellulite.

Women can also scrub their dimpled skin in order to stimulate blood flow and also shed dead skin cells and stimulate new cells to grow. Or take a supplement of glucosamine, an amino acid compound found in health cartilage, which can help reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Ashleyann Gosselin may be contacted at a.gosselin@umiami.edu.