Cellulite is the lumpy appearance of skin commonly found on the thighs, stomach, and butt. (It's often said to resemble "cottage cheese.") Fat pushes between the connective tissue beneath the skin, making the surface of the skin pucker and look lumpy. You can check to see if you have cellulite by pinching the skin around your upper thigh. If it looks a bit lumpy, you probably have it. If you do have cellulite, you're definitely not alone. Most girls and women — and some men — have cellulite. Several things influence whether a person has cellulite, such as: Genes. Cellulite tends to run in families. Sex. Cellulite is more common in girls and women than boys and men. Weight. Thin people can have cellulite, but it's more noticeable in those with more body fat. Age. Cellulite is more common as we get older. No miracle products, treatments, or medicines can make it go away. Some "treatments" may temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite. For example, fancy salon treatments use deep massaging to puff up the skin. That can make cellulite look a little better for a while. Other approaches — including lasers, radiofrequency devices, acoustic wave therapy, and some topical creams (like retinol) — may improve the appearance of cellulite. But these take several treatments over weeks or months and the results are temporary. Liposuction (surgery to remove deep fat) can actually make cellulite look worse. Injection of drugs and other substances into cellulite can have serious side effects, including infections and allergic reactions. Talk to your doctor if you're concerned about cellulite. If you're overweight (and your doctor agrees), lose weight by eating a healthy diet, watching portion sizes, and exercising more. Maintain a healthy weight and have an exercise routine that combines aerobic exercise with strength training. Replacing fat with muscle will improve the appearance of cellulite. Back to Articles Related Articles Figuring Out Fat and Calories From all you hear, you'd think fat and calories are really bad for you, but we all need a certain amount of them in our diets. Find out the truth about fat and calories. Read More Body Image and Self-Esteem When your body changes, so can your image of yourself. Find out how your body image affects your self-esteem and what you can do. Read More How Can I Lose Weight Safely? Lots of people are unhappy with their present weight, but aren't sure how to change it - or even if they need to. Get the facts on weight loss here. Read More Strength Training Is working out with weights safe for teens? The best way to build muscle tone and definition is to combine aerobic and flexibility exercises with the right kind of strength training. Read More Stretch Marks Your skin is usually fairly elastic, but when you grow or gain weight really quickly (like during puberty), you may get fine lines on your body called stretch marks. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.