Do men get cellulite? New study reveals why women are more affected
If you’re a woman, then at one point or another you’ve probably looked at your thighs, noticed a patch of dimpled skin, and turned to your partner only to wonder, do men get cellulite?
Of course, it is perfectly common, and nothing to be concerned about.
But - whatever your stance is on the harmless and natural phenomenon that is cellulite - it's hard not to notice that our male counterparts seem to waltz through life without even giving so much as a second thought as to how dimply their backside is.
Do men get cellulite?
While it would be misleading to say that men are immune to cellulite, with 10% of them being affected by it, it’s still disproportionately prevalent in women.
In fact, 90% of women experience it at some point during their lives. And apparently, it’s all to do with genetics.
Cellulite is formed because of the way that the collagen - the protein in the connective tissue that keeps us firm and holds our fat in place - is shaped differently between the sexes. In women, it’s like a picket fence, in men it’s more like a criss-cross fence.
And if you were to guess which shape does a better job of it? Yup, it’s the criss-cross fence.
What is cellulite?
But, let’s start with a clarification. Rather than being "excess fat", cellulite is actually normal fat forming into pockets, and being pushed through to the skin.
According to scientists, this has to do with differences in the structure of male and female skin.
What does the science say?
Per a study conducted by Aesthetic Medicine, men are less likely to develop cellulite because they have much stronger connective tissue.
"My answer has always been that women develop cellulite. That's because they have weaker connective tissue and larger fat cells," says Dr. Georgios Tzenichristos. This is "due to the effect of female hormones," he details.
It appears to be out of our hands, after all...
"Men, on the other hand, have much stronger connective tissue and much less subcutaneous fat," he adds. "So they normally do not develop cellulite."
A study conducted on 20 men and 20 women aged 36-92 years' old, had some interesting results. It showed that women have 34% less collagen fibres and 57% larger fat lobules in the deep layer of their skin, compared to men.
It is this combination of larger fat lobules, which push the skin upward, and fewer collagen anchors - which don't offer enough resistance to the pressure of fat - that results in the appearance of cellulite.
The bottom line
Ultimately, no amount of exercise can make you immune to cellulite. Whether you will get it really depends on your genetic makeup.
Vanessa Bennington, a qualified nurse and health coach, explains: "If your connective tissue is put together differently than your friend’s, your skin is going to look different. Just like skin colour, hair, and height are all genetically determined, so is your predisposition to cellulite."
Remember, cellulite isn't something that you should be ashamed about. Nor should you feel the need to hide it. I'm sure we can all agree that our time is better spent loving our bodies, rather than lamenting something as innocuous as a few dimples...