When Cardi B performed a duet with Bruno Mars during the 2018 Grammy Awards on Sunday, her fans lit up social media questioning her real age due to all the cellulite hanging off her thighs. Social media users wondered if the rumors were true that she is really 35.
According to Google.com, Cardi was born Belcalis Almanzar in the Bronx, NY on October 11, 1992, which makes her 25.
Cellulite is not a disease. It is unsightly subcutaneous fat that clings under the skin causing dimpling of the skin that resembles cottage cheese or orange peels. Cellulite affects 90 percent of women and only 10 percent of men (more on that later).
Cellulite usually appears on a woman's buttocks, hips and thighs beginning at age 25 and can affect girls as young as teenagers.
What Causes Cellulite?
As young women start approaching menopause, Estrogen production decreases and fat begins to accumulate and protrude due to decreased blood circulation in the legs and buttocks.
With decreased blood circulation, there is less oxygen and nutrition to the area, which results in a decrease in collagen production. Collagen is a structural protein found in skin that smooths out connective tissue and prevents wrinkles and dimpling.
As the collagen decreases, fat pushes through the collagen causing the lumpy cottage cheese appearance on our buttocks, thighs and hips.
Why Does Cellulite Affect More Women Than Men?
Men and women are not equal. Biology is the reason why men have significantly less cellulite than women.
In ancient times, early women did not have cellulite because they were more active (running from predators such as dinosaurs).
As civilization evolved, women became lazier while men remained active, which explains why significantly fewer men have cellulite. Also, the structure of collagen in men is different from collagen in women. Collagen in men is much stronger and holds in the fat much better than in women.
Estrogen (in women) creates fat while testosterone (in men) breaks down fat. As men age, their testosterone production decreases, but men still have better collagen than women, which helps to hold fat in and not allow it to reach their skin.
Can Cellulite Be Prevented?
According to Scientific American, the main cause of cellulite in today's woman is diet and elastic panties. Back in the 1920s, women wore loose panties and longer skirts.
Panties with elastic across the buttocks cuts off blood circulation to the legs. If you draw a line from where your cellulite begins, it starts at the panty line.
More women have cellulite because today's women wear less panty hose. Panty hose acts as a compression hose, reducing swelling and promoting better blood flow to the legs.
Scientific American suggests wearing less panties with elastic and wearing more thongs (make sure the thongs are 100% cotton). If you wear a size 10 in panties, go up a size to make the elastic fit looser across your buttocks. Also, wearing panty hose (with loose panties) helps to promote blood flow to your legs.
What About Diet and Exercise?
Diet does play a role in decreasing cellulite. Women in America tend to exercise less and sit at desks or in cars for most of the day. Women in industrialized countries work harder and tend to stay on their feet for most of the day.
Eating healthy and exercising more will help you to lose the extra fat that causes cellulite.
Is There Treatment for Cellulite?
Dermatologists and chiropractors have machines to treat cellulite which include vacuum rolling and radio waves to break up the fat in thighs. Vacuuming, radio waves and rolling the thighs breaks up fat cells, which smoothes out the skin.
Laser treatments are also available in addition to vacuuming and rolling (massaging). "Subcision" surgery is used to reduce fat dimpling in buttocks, thighs and hips.
As always, discuss diet, exercise and treatment options with your doctor or health care provider.
This has been your Medical Minute.
More Info On the Web
Cellulite: Causes, treatment, and prevention - Medical News Today
Myths and Facts About Cellulite - Health.com
Is Cellulite Forever? - Scientific American
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