I’m In Shape – Why Do I Have Cellulite?

A person doesn’t have to be overweight to have cellulite. Many of our clients have a healthy body weight, and though they are athletic and muscular, their bodies still have cellulite.

For these women, the dimpled areas can be especially frustrating because there doesn’t seem to be a solution. They don’t need to lose weight. And it’s not linked to their age or hormonal changes.

So, people ask why they have cellulite and what can they do about it. Let’s take a look at some of the causes and solutions.

Cellulite Isn’t Caused by Being Overweight

First let’s address an important cultural myth. Cellulite is NOT strictly caused by being overweight. Sure, cellulite involves subcutaneous fat layers. But cellulite is better described as a skin condition – not a barometer of physical fitness.

The skin is comprised of an epidermis, the outer layer, and dermis, which is right beneath that layer and houses hair follicles and the like. Still deeper down is the first of multiple fat layers. If the first layer of fat protrudes into the dermis, as explained here, the result can be a dimply appearance that’s often referred to as cellulite.

What is Cellulite?

Cellulite sufferers may also have differences in their connective tissue that cause them to develop cellulite dimples, especially around the thighs and buttocks, where women naturally store lots of fat.

Given that explanation, it’s easy to see why even women with little body fat and athletes experience cellulite

It’s great to know what cellulite is and what causes it. But how can a person get rid of it?

Exercise & Cellulite Creams Aren’t the Answer

Despite what a personal trainer may say, there’s not really an exercise that will re-arrange a person’s fat layers. While slimming down may make those layers thinner and cut down the amount of fat protruding into the dermis, weight loss alone won’t change the connective tissues.

There are plenty of creams and concoctions that claim to be able to get rid of cellulite.1 Many of them contain caffeine, which can reduce swelling around the fat cells and lead to a smoother look. But all creams aren’t equally effective and once a person stops using them, the cellulite typically returns.

Other Cellulite Removal Options

Fortunately, science has created better options. A laser cellulite treatment has recently emerged as a promising treatment for cellulite. At WIFH, we offer Cellulaze, the only laser treatment that attacks the structural problems beneath the skin that cause cellulite2.

Patients are numbed before we insert a SideLight 3D Cellulaze laser fiber. The heat from the laser melts the trapped fat that create the bumps and releases the fibrous bands that pull the skin down creating the dimpled depressions.

For people who exercise and eat well who may be wondering why they have cellulite, it might be time to try a more scientific solution. Call us today for a consultation!

1. Sadick, N. (2018). Treatment for cellulite. International Journal Women’s Dermatology. 2018; 5: Pages 68-72. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30809581
2. DiBernardo, Barry E., MD. (2016). A Multicenter Study for Cellulite Treatment Using a 1440-nm Nd:YAG Wavelength Laser with Side-Firing Fiber. Aesthetic Surgery Journal. 2016; 3: Pages 335-343. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5127477/
About the Author

Paul Cox, MD, MS

Dr. Paul Cox MD, MS, is the Medical Director of WIFH. Board Certified in Family Medicine and a Fellow of the American Academy of Anti-Agency Medicine, Dr. Cox has been practicing as a physician for over 20 years.