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ORANGE PEEL SKIN - by Editor

No, this is not a food article. These phrases are popularly used to describe the dreaded phenomenon of cellulite. Dimpled knees only look cute on babies. If you're way past the baby stage and you have dimpled fat below your waist level, you've got cellulite!

The pinch test

Pinch your skin between your thumb and finger or between the palms of your hands. If it is just plain old fat, the pinched skin will appear smooth. However, if the pinched skin has ripples or bumps similar to an orange peel, it's cellulite.

Skinny people have it too

Cellulite can affect any age group and there is a depressing statistic that claims that 99% of all women develop some cellulite after 30. However, men can also have cellulite around their necks and stomachs. As you may have guessed from the title, it definitely appears on the thighs. It also settles around the buttocks, the hips, the stomach, the ankles, the upper arms, the upper back below the shoulders and the lower back. That seems to cover most of it. The most astounding fact is that you don't have to obese to have cellulite. While overweight people are more likely to have cellulite, even skinny people face the problem.

There are two kinds of cellulite. The hard variety, which appears, believe it or not, in more active people, is harder to detect, as it is not so easily pinched away from the muscle. Soft cellulite is associated with poor muscle tone and is more noticeable as the skin is loose and it sags.

Who's the culprit?

While some researchers would like to believe that cellulite is all in the genes, it is more likely that what parents do pass on are bad habits. Cellulite formation is linked to poor eating habits, a sedentary lifestyle, build-up of toxins in the body and poor circulation. Cellulite may also develop after pregnancy or as a result of taking contraceptive pills due to excessive estrogen levels.

The orange peel or cottage cheese effect is the direct result of the malfunctioning of the waste removal system and the build-up of toxins in the body. When this happens, the connective tissue surrounding the muscles become filled with fluid that hardens into hard pockets making your skin look like the peel of an orange.

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