Doing Well


What do you know about cellulite?

13 May 2019

Here’s what you need to know about cellulite and its causes

This is what ‘cellulite’ is and here’s how it comes to being
Is the cellulite on your body bothering you? Well, then you're not alone. As common as cellulite is, there's also an awful lot of misinformation out there about what it is, what causes it, and how to get rid of it. So before blaming yourself or letting your healthy body image suffer, scheduling a visit with your doctor is recommended. The market is flooded with cosmetic procedures and frequently released over-the-counter products, but most doctors say that cellulite is a normal occurrence.

What causes it?

Cellulite is basically caused by a build-up of fat underneath the skin. As fat cells accumulate, they push up against the skin, while the long, tough cords pull down. This creates an uneven surface or dimpling. It may also involve fibrous connective cords that tether the skin to the underlying muscle, with the fat lying in between. While some women are more predisposed to it than others, the amount of cellulite you have and how noticeable it is could very well be based on your genes, body fat percentage, accumulated toxins, weight gain, pregnancy, hormones and age. People of all body types and weights can get cellulite. However, the distribution of fat in women is more visible than in men.

The exact cause of the appearance of cellulite has still not been proven but a few leading hypotheses’ that explain the cause of cellulite include:


Differences in skin between male and female?

This hypothesis of cellulite describes the gender-related differences in the structure of fat underneath the skin and the dividing tissue. The appearance of cellulite consists of ‘pits’ and ‘dells’ or dimpled skin and is caused by bulging of fat from the below the skin. These bulges of fat are a characteristic of female anatomy and their presence has been confirmed by ultrasound imaging.

Changing blood vessels?

According to some studies on the ‘formation of cellulite’ state that the process originates from the deterioration of blood vessels supplied to the skin. These vessels adapt to the difference in pressure between the arteries and the veins. This can lead to excessive fluid collection within the skin, causing visible skin changes and the appearance of cellulite.


In studies on cellulite, Shertwitz & Braun-Falco, as well as Kligman, showed pain and tenderness when body parts with cellulite were gently pressurized. This made the researchers think that chronic inflammation could be one of the underlying causes for cellulite. Inflammation is the body's way of alerting the immune system to heal and repair damaged tissue or start to fight viruses and bacteria. So, it is a very helpful process, but if it persists and becomes chronic, it can be a problem for the body.

Kligman even found inflammatory cells in cellulite skin samples, which might mean that the chronic inflammation resulted in fat breakdown and death of skin cells in the layer beneath the skin, which then caused the dimples of cellulite.

Clearly the jury is still out on what is the basic cause of cellulite, and researchers will keep looking until they find it. If you have any further questions or are looking for a specific treatment against cellulite formation, we recommend you consult a doctor first. There are many treatments to get rid of these stubborn fat cells. Please always make sure to learn about the above and do an extensive consultation with your doctor before you go in for any kind of surgical treatments.