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Title: Cellulite  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: WikiProject Spam/COIReports/2008, Jul 16, Skin, Women's health, Cosmetic surgery, Medixsysteme
Collection: Cosmetic Surgery, Skin, Tissues (Biology), Women's Health
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


This article is about the dimpled appearance of skin. For the infection of skin and its underlying connective tissue, see cellulitis. Not to be confused with Celluloid.
Classification and external resources
The dimpled appearance of cellulite
MedlinePlus 002033

Cellulite (also known as adiposis edematosa, dermopanniculosis deformans, status protrusus cutis, gynoid lipodystrophy, and orange peel syndrome) 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.[1][2] Cellulite occurs in most postpubescent females.[3]


  • History 1
  • Epidemiology 2
  • Causes 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6


The term was first used in the 1920s by spa and beauty services to promote their services, and began appearing in English language publications in the late 1960s, with the earliest reference in Vogue magazine, "Like a swift migrating fish, the word cellulite has suddenly crossed the Atlantic."[4] Its existence as a real disorder has been challenged,[5] and the prevailing medical opinion is that it is merely the "normal condition of many women".[6] The prospect of sales creates an incentive for disease mongering. Based on recent research, it is more likely that cellulite is a natural part of the human body than a disease.


Cellulite is thought to occur in 80–90% of post-adolescent females.[7][8] There appears to be a hormonal component to its presentation. It is rarely seen in males,[1] but is more common in males with androgen-deficient states, such as Klinefelter's syndrome, hypogonadism, postcastration states and in those patients receiving estrogen therapy for prostate cancer. The cellulite becomes more severe as the androgen deficiency worsens in these males.


The causes of cellulite[9] include changes in metabolism, physiology, dieting too hard or too much, sex-specific dimorphic skin architecture, alteration of connective tissue structure, hormonal factors, genetic factors, the microcirculatory system, the extracellular matrix, and subtle inflammatory alterations.[1][3][9][10]

Hormonal factors

Hormones play a dominant role in the formation of cellulite. Estrogen may be the important hormone to initiate and aggravate cellulite. However, there has been no reliable clinical evidence to support such a claim. Other hormones, including insulin, the catecholamines adrenaline and noradrenaline, thyroid hormones, and prolactin, are all believed to participate in the development of cellulite.[1]

Genetic factors

There is a genetic element in individual susceptibility to cellulite.[1] Researchers led by Enzo Emanuele have traced the genetic component of cellulite to particular polymorphisms in the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) and hypoxia-inducible factor 1A (HIF1a) genes.[7]

Predisposing factors

Several factors have been shown to affect the development of cellulite. Sex, race, biotype,[11] distribution of subcutaneous fat, and predisposition to lymphatic and circulatory insufficiency have all been shown to contribute to cellulite.[1]


A high-stress lifestyle will cause an increase in the level of catecholamines, which have also been associated with the evolution of cellulite.[1] Certain dieting practices can also diminish the level of these chemicals , and decreasing body fat typically results in the reduction in appearance of cellulite.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Rossi AB, Vergnanini AL (July 2000). "Cellulite: a review". J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 14 (4): 251–62.  
  2. ^ PINNA, K. (2007). Nutrition and diet therapy. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. p.178
  3. ^ a b Avram MM (December 2004). "Cellulite: a review of its physiology and treatment". J Cosmet Laser Ther 6 (4): 181–5.  
  4. ^ Vogue 15 Apr 1968 110/1
  5. ^ Nürnberger F, Müller G (March 1978). "So-called cellulite: an invented disease". J Dermatol Surg Oncol 4 (3): 221–9.  
  6. ^ MedlinePlus Encyclopedia Cellulite
  7. ^ a b Emanuele E, Bertona M, Geroldi D (2010). "A multilocus candidate approach identifies ACE and HIF1A as susceptibility genes for cellulite". Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology 24 (8): 930–5.  
  8. ^ Wanner M, Avram M (April 2008). "An evidence-based assessment of treatments for cellulite". J Drugs Dermatol 7 (4): 341–5.  
  9. ^ a b Pavicic T, Borelli C, Korting HC (October 2006). "[Cellulite--the greatest skin problem in healthy people? An approach]". J Dtsch Dermatol Ges (in German) 4 (10): 861–70.  
  10. ^ Terranova F, Berardesca E, Maibach H (June 2006). "Cellulite: nature and aetiopathogenesis". Int J Cosmet Sci 28 (3): 157–67.  
  11. ^ A population within a species that has distinct genetic variation.

Further reading

Review articles
  • Khan MH, Victor F, Rao B, Sadick NS (March 2010). "Treatment of cellulite: Part I. Pathophysiology". Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (review) 62 (3): 361–70; quiz 371–2.  
  • Khan MH, Victor F, Rao B, Sadick NS (March 2010). "Treatment of cellulite: Part II. Advances and controversies". Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (review) 62 (3): 373–84; quiz 385–6.  

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
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