10 Myths About Body Fat

Cellulite Is Caused by Impurities and Toxins
This cross-section diagram shows skin that exhibits cellulite and skin that doesn’t. Aside from the size of the fat cells, the components of each are the same. © james steidl/iStock/Thinkstock

Cellulite is that dimpled skin that develops usually around our thighs and butts, and maybe our hips and knees, and although many of us may think it's unsightly, it's harmless. It's not caused by toxins or impurities, and despite all the claims about solutions from lymphatic drainage to caffeine cream treatments, there is no cure for it because it's really nothing more than fat.

Everyone has the potential to develop cellulite — overweight, thin, young, old, men, women — although it mainly affects women. As many as 90 percent of women (and only 10 percent of men) develop cellulite, which is thought to be caused, at least partly, by genetic predisposition and declining estrogen levels. Diet and a sedentary lifestyle also play a factor in whether a person will develop cellulite, as does the structure of the connective tissue below the surface of the skin [source: Harmon]. This connective tissue is a framework of fibers made of collagen that connects skin and muscle. Cellulite appears when the fat deposits accumulating below the skin bulge through that framework.

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