Have you shredded your shorts, thrown your bathing suit in the dumpster? If you haven’t already done so, I bet you are seriously considering it.
Along with all the other issues we face as perimenopausal, menopausal, or post-menopausal women, nothing is more apparent to others — or our mirrors — than the advancement of cellulite due to low estrogen levels.
The lack of estrogen affects skin connective tissue by decreasing production of collagen and elastic fibers. Cellulite occurs when the septae tighten. Septae, in this case, are thick bands of collagen that connect skin to muscle and hold back subcutaneous fat in the dermis, which is tissue below the epidermis (skin). When these bands tighten, they pull the skin, causing the underlying fat cells to rise. This creates a dimpling effect. Think cottage cheese!
Cellulite is more common in women than in men (well, of course) due to the shape of the collagen bands. Female collagen bands are honey-combed; male bands are crossed or horizontal. And cellulite is more common in women’s thighs because that’s where fat is stored (among other places!).
Though not possible to completely eliminate cellulite, there are things that you can do to reduce its appearance:
- Stay hydrated. Skin cells need water to function and water helps maintain a skin’s plump look.
- Maintain a healthy weight. (I know. This is a constant battle.) Fat tissue increases cellulite.
- Creams or lotions may reduce the appearance of cellulite, though they are not a remedy. Discuss with your dermatologist.
- Certain supplements may help, though the research on this is minimal. Again, talk with your doctor.
- Exercise in order to promote the burning of excess fat. Good, low-impact exercises include swimming, walking, and cycling.
- Try strength training that targets thighs and glutes.
And, as I have suggested in my other posts, mirrors are hazardous to your wellbeing so throw out as many as possible — along with the shorts and bathing suits.