Hormonal changes that weaken the fibrous tissues surrounding fat cells and negatively affect the skin’s support structures. These effects are normally seen between the ages of 25-35, when women’s estrogen levels naturally decline. This causes a loss of blood vessel receptors in the thigh and hip regions, and less circulation means less nutrition to the area, which blunts collagen production (resulting in weaker skin and connective tissues). Menstrual cycles also play a role, because women’s bodies release an enzyme before that breaks down collagen.
- They naturally hold more fat than men, and particularly in the “stubborn” regions that are most affected by cellulite. Research has shown that females aren’t as good at oxidizing fat as men, and it’s possible that estrogen levels play a role as well.
- Their fat cells are distributed in vertical columns, which are more prone to bulging, whereas men’s are arranged in a denser, net-like pattern that is resistant to pitting.
Cellulite also gets worse with age. The fibrous connective tissues (septea as they’re known) stiffen and the skin loosens, making the “mattress look” becomes even more pronounced.
- Stage 0: No noticeable dimpling while standing or lying, and the pinch test shows folds and furrows, but no mattress-like appearance.
- Stage 1: No dimpling while standing or lying down, but the pinch test shows mattress-like appearance.
- Stage 2: Spontaneous dimpling when standing, but not when lying down.
- Stage 3: Spontaneous dimpling when standing and when lying down.
What is this pinch test, you might be wondering? It’s very simple.
Using your index finger and your thumb, pinch the skin on your outer thigh, buttocks, or abdomen, and look for dimpling.
If you can only see some dimpling when you pinch, but want to make sure it doesn’t get worse over time, then I recommend you start taking simple, preventative actions now.
Before I talk about what works in the treatment of cellulite, I want to save you the money and frustration of wasting your time with snake oils and other scams.