Orange peel skin, cottage cheese skin, the mattress phenomenon and hail damage are all common names for the common concern which afflicts predominantly women, rather than men, Cellulite! Cellulite is a connective tissue disorder which often accumulates around the buttocks, thighs, abdomen and arms. It is estimated that up to 90% of women will experience some form of cellulite at some time in their life after puberty. Cellulite will occur more predominantly in women than men primarily because of hormonal differences. In women fat cells and connective tissue are arranged vertically, whereas in men the tissue is more of a criss-cross structure.

Cellulite is the protrusion or cleaving of subcutaneous fat within fibrous connective tissue that causes the skin dimpling. While fat is a component of cellulite, it is only part of the story. Fibrous connective tissue adheres skin to the muscle beneath, and as the body ages, this connective tissue contracts and stiffens causing it to pull down or tighten the skin which pushes the fat cells out against the skin. Age also causes the skin to become less elastic, thinner and more likely to sag. This is yet another possible cause of the dreaded cellulite phenomenon along with genetic factors such as speed of metabolism, distribution of fat under the skin and circulatory levels.
There are three grades of cellulite appearance on the skin: grade 1 is very mild and may only be seen when the skin is squeezed together. There may be a slight orange peel appearance; grade 2 is moderate in appearance and is more severe with a cottage cheese appearance and a slight draping of the skin; grade 3 or severe is more of a lumpy mattress appearance with deeper depressions and hanging of the skin.
While there is no cure for cellulite, a healthy lifestyle and exercise programme will go far to prevent, reduce and correct it. There are various treatments both at home and in the clinic that may assist with the reduction of the dimpling of the skin