Factors influencing cellulite

Cellulite is a structural, inflammatory and biochemical alteration of the subcutaneous tissue, in which subcutaneous fat herniation occurs in the dermis, altering the contour of the skin.

Clinically, it is manifested by nodules and dimpling, which give an irregular appearance to the skin (“orange peel”) mainly on the abdomen, thighs and buttocks.

85-98% of women suffer from cellulite after adolescence to a greater or lesser degree.

Several factors play a role:

  • Genetics: there are several polymorphisms that could be related to the clinical development of cellulitis.
  • Sex: it is very rare in men, which can perhaps be understood by the structural and hormonal differences that occur between the two sexes.
  • Hormones: estrogens are involved in lipogenesis and lipolysis processes that lead to hypertrophy of adipose tissue, so they play a key role in cellulite.
    • Cellulite is exacerbated during pregnancy, lactation, menstruation and contraceptive use.
    • It may occur in men with androgenic hormone deficiencies.
  • Weight: cellulite affects women of any BMI. However, it appears in areas with excess adipose tissue and obese people, but obesity does not cause cellulite, although it can aggravate it and make it clinically more evident. A drastic weight loss does not necessarily imply an improvement in cellulite and can lead to added flaccidity.
  • Diet: A diet rich in carbohydrates promotes hyperinsulinemia and lipogenesis, increasing body fat and cellulite.
  • Race: higher presence in Caucasian women and lower in Asian women.


According to the severity of clinical signs:

-Grade I: smooth skin (no dimpling) in lying and standing position. Irregularities appear when the skin is pressed.
-Grade II: Dimples visible when standing but disappear when lying down.
-Grade III: Dimples visible when standing and lying down.
Depending on the characteristics of the cellulite:
-Hard: Toned fabrics, rigid and hard to the touch. Young women who do physical exercise.
-Flaccid: Soft tissues that sway with movement. Women who are inactive or who have lost weight suddenly.
-Edematous: the most severe and least frequent. It is accompanied by edema of the lower limbs and occasional pain.
-Mixed: the most frequent