If you’ve made your way to this page, chances are that you’re looking to understand what cellulite and stretch marks really are and want to find solutions for them. You’re not alone when it comes to this though - both of these are unsightly skin conditions that affect millions of men and women worldwide. Read on to understand how you can tell the difference between them and how you may be able to manage the appearance of them.
What Is Cellulite?
If you have uneven, lumpy skin on your hips, thighs, or buttocks then this may be a sign of cellulite. Cellulite occurs when the skin overlying certain areas of fat is pulled downward to the deeper tissues by connective tissue bands and this results in an uneven surface. Cellulite is commonly found on:
Cellulite affects women more than men due to the different fat, muscle, and connective tissue distribution. Hormonal factors play a large role in the development of cellulite, and genetics determine skin structure, skin texture and body type. Other factors, such as weight and muscle tone affect whether you have cellulite, though even very fit people can have it. It’s thought to affect 80 to 90% of women in varying degrees but there’s no need to worry as cellulite isn’t harmful - it just looks unsightly.
What Are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are visible lines or marks on the skin that occur when it’s stretched, such as during rapid weight gain, which causes the elastic fibres to break. They’re effectively a rupture of collagen that’s visible on the skin's surface. Skin has a natural level of elasticity, however, once it’s stretched past this the elastic fibres break. Stretch marks can occur to teenagers experiencing a growth spurt, during rapid weight gain, pregnancy or when the skin is stretched a great deal in a short period of time.
Cellulite vs Stretch Marks: How To Tell The Difference
Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish between whether you might have cellulite or stretch marks. Here are some features that you should looks out for when trying to understand if you have one, or even both, of these skin conditions:
Cellulite looks like dimpled or bumpy skin. It's sometimes described as having a cottage cheese or orange peel texture. You can see mild cellulite only if you pinch your skin in an area where you have cellulite, such as your thighs. Cellulite that’s more severe makes the skin appear rumpled and bumpy with areas of peaks and valleys.
Stretch Mark Features:
Stretch marks don't all look alike. They vary depending on how long you've had them, what caused them, where they are on your body, and the type of skin you have. Common signs of them include:
- Indented streaks or lines in the skin
- Pink, red, black, blue or purple streaks
- Bright streaks that fade to a lighter colour
- Streaks covering large areas of the body
How Can I Get Rid Of Cellulite & Stretch Marks?
There are a number of natural ways that you can try to minimise the appearance of cellulite and manage the look of stretch marks. However, it's not that easy and not always possible to remove either of these skin conditions stretch marks.
Nevertheless, you can limit the appearance of cellulite by managing your weight. This, along with some vitamin E creams and treatments, can help to soothe the skin and provide a more even layer. There are laser treatments that have seen some good results but these can be expensive. However, there are some devices you can use from the comfort of your own home to provide you with a more convenient alternative to these.
One of the best ways to reduce your chance of stretch marks is also by maintaining a healthy weight with a balanced diet and regular exercise. You could also try using hydrating and moisturising creams or solutions, such as aloe vera and coconut oil, which can help to reduce or diminish the appearance of them.
The Final Word
Stretch marks vs cellulite - both have their differences but both of them can have an impact on your body confidence. There are a variety of natural methods that can help you manage the appearance of them without any need for expensive treatment. You can also make a few tweaks to your lifestyle to help reduce the chances of these unsightly skin blemishes appearing.