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Cellulite: Anatomy of the Dimples
Cellulite doesn't have a cure, but science has developed treatments that, in some cases, can help minimize it. Learn what lies just beneath the skin with Groupon's take on the bumpy bodily phenomenon.
Colloquial language has come up with a number of not-so-flattering terms to describe cellulite, but beyond its aesthetics, cellulite poses no particular risk. Put simply, cellulite is the bumpy texture produced by fatty deposits resting just below the epidermal surface. As the skin thins with age, cellulite often becomes more visible: as fat bulges outward and the connective tissue reaching down to the muscle tugs back, the surface of the thighs, buttocks, belly, or upper arms forms little dimples. More common in women than men thanks to their thinner skin, higher levels of estrogen, and characteristic patterns of fat distribution, cellulite has myriad causes that range from hormonal changes to diet, genetics, and blood circulation.
Because cellulite’s structure is so complex, it’s not easy to attack—even invasive methods such as traditional liposuction leave cellulite in place. Although it's just about impossible to prevent cellulite from forming, doctors and aestheticians have proposed a variety of ways to diminish its appearance. From lasers that break apart fatty deposits to retinol creams to massage techniques that increase the flow of blood to cellulite-ridden areas, the med-spa bag of tricks is deep and eclectic. Because many of these treatments are quite new, it’s often difficult to judge their long-term permanence. Although diet and exercise won’t remove cellulite, they may make it less noticeable through weight loss, increased muscle tone, or the fact that you’re jumping on that trampoline too quickly for anyone to tell.