From WikiMD's Wellness Encyclopedia

Cellulite is the herniation of subcutaneous fat within fibrous connective tissue that manifests topographically as skin dimpling and nodularity, often on the pelvic region (specifically the buttocks), lower limbs, and abdomen. Cellulite occurs in most postpubescent females. A review gives a prevalence of 85 to 98% of women, indicating that it is physiologic rather than pathologic. It can result from a complex combination of factors ranging from hormones to heredity.

Dimpled appearance of cellulite

Causes[edit | edit source]

The development of cellulite is attributed to a variety of factors, which may include hormonal, genetic, predisposing, and lifestyle factors.

Hormonal factors[edit | edit source]

Hormones such as estrogen, insulin, noradrenaline, thyroid hormones, and prolactin are part of the cellulite development process. Estrogen, in particular, may play the largest role in cellulite formation, influencing fat distribution and connective tissue structure.

Genetic factors[edit | edit source]

Genetics also play a significant role in determining skin structure, skin texture, and body type, all of which can influence the likelihood of developing cellulite. Genetic predisposition can affect fat distribution and metabolism, contributing to the appearance of cellulite.

Predisposing factors[edit | edit source]

Certain predisposing factors such as gender, race, biotype (e.g., distribution of fat, muscle, and connective tissue), and the predisposition of the lymphatic system can influence the chance of cellulite development. Women are more likely to develop cellulite due to differences in fat, muscle, and connective tissue distribution.

Lifestyle[edit | edit source]

Lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and smoking can also impact the formation and severity of cellulite. Poor diet, lack of physical activity, and smoking may exacerbate the condition.

Treatments[edit | edit source]

Various treatments have been proposed for cellulite, including:

It is important to note that the effectiveness of these treatments can vary, and some may not have long-lasting results.

Epidemiology[edit | edit source]

Cellulite is primarily observed in postpubescent females, with a reported prevalence of 85 to 98%. It is less common in men, likely due to differences in fat distribution and connective tissue structure.

History[edit | edit source]

The understanding and perception of cellulite have evolved over time. Initially considered a normal condition, it has become more medicalized in recent decades, with increased attention to treatment and cosmetic improvement.

References[edit | edit source]

Further reading[edit | edit source]

  • "The Cellulite Solution: A Doctor's Program for Losing Lumps, Bumps, Dimples, and Stretch Marks" by Dr. Howard Murad
  • "Cellulite: Pathophysiology and Treatment" edited by Avram, Mitchel P.
Cellulite Resources

Navigation: Wellness - Encyclopedia - Health topics - Disease Index‏‎ - Drugs - World Directory - Gray's Anatomy - Keto diet - Recipes

Search WikiMD

Ad.Tired of being Overweight? Try W8MD's physician weight loss program.
Semaglutide (Ozempic / Wegovy and Tirzepatide (Mounjaro / Zepbound) available.
Advertise on WikiMD

WikiMD is not a substitute for professional medical advice. See full disclaimer.

Credits:Most images are courtesy of Wikimedia commons, and templates Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY SA or similar.

Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD