Cellulite is complicated and so are the causes. We really have no clear idea of exactly what causes it,
although there are major and minor contributors to the cause of cellulite.
For instance, why do only women get cellulite? Well, estrogen is probably the answer. Estrogen has the
effect of making fat very stable, particularly around the hips and buttocks, you know, good for us if we are
starving, we have nice, stable fat, but that also has the effect of causing dimpling and men don’t seem to
When you think of the fat layer, there’s actually two fat layers – we have deep fat and superficial fat, and it’s
the superficial fat layer that gets all dimpled. In women, sorry to say, we have a much thicker superficial fat
layer even when we are skinny. So causes of cellulite, estrogen would be one.
A lot of people talk about circulation. It is thought that from having a sedentary lifestyle, for instance sitting all
day or standing all day, it is inhibiting some of the circulation in that girdle area and that contributes to
cellulite. So people with those occupations may have more cellulite.
Other causes – salt was brought up as an issue and salt may in fact make your cellulite look worse because
of fluid retention. However, it really isn’t a cause, it’s just a minor factor.
Pregnancy, increase in hormones, prolactin and insulin go up in pregnancy so cellulite goes up in
pregnancy. Diabetes – insulin can cause increase in fat deposits again, cellulite being the result, and there
are a number of medical conditions that can also contribute to it.
Cellulite is not only a problem of the young woman. Postmenopausal women, these are women who no
longer have estrogen, still have a cellulite problem. So why is that? Well, just because you don’t have
estrogen it doesn’t reverse what’s been going on all your life and secondly, as you get older unfortunately
the skin gets looser and laxer and that allows more out-pouching of fat, that allows more of this what we call
herniation of fat and rippling. So as you get older you can also have two issues – you have the cellulite and
you have the skin laxity, which kind of leads in to some of the treatments for cellulite.