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What Causes Cellulite?

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Cellulite will affect around 8 out of every 10 women and 1 out of every 10 men at some point in their lives, and it’s a condition that can ruin self confidence. Whether it causes you to ditch the shorts or skirt you’ve always loved, or think twice about that swimming costume, it does affect some sufferers immensely. So what causes it, and how can it be reduced?

The cause is fairly simple; cellulite happens when adipose tissue (fat) breaks through the connective tissue below the skin. Although we don’t know exactly why this happens, we know what can make it worse, and more importantly, what can make it better. Factors that influence cellulite include diet, smoking, genetics, and hormones.


Sugar and salt, when consumed too much, can both cause cellulite, as sugar is stored in fat cells, which swell, and salt causes fluid retention, which can worsen the appearance of these unwanted lumps and bumps. Too many carbohydrates can also be a problem as they are converted into glucose, which is known to damage collagen, and affect how bad the cellulite looks.


Studies suggest that smokers are more at risk of developing cellulite than non-smokers. This is believed to be caused by the chemicals in smoke that destroy collagen, a protein that keeps skin plump and firm, and is present in the connective tissue that, when weakened, allows the fat beneath to be seen through. As well as this, smoking causes worsening of blood circulation, ruining the route by which dissolved fats are taken out of the body, which adds to the problem.


Cellulite can be hereditary, so if it is prevalent in your family, it’s more likely that you will develop it too. However, this does not necessarily mean that if your family is cellulite-free, you will be too, as a range of factors influence the formation of this condition.


As oestrogen is released in women, it increases fluid retention and decreases collagen production, which increases the likelihood of collagen forming.

To find out more about cellulite, the treatments we offer, or to book a no obligation consultation with one of our highly trained clinicians at PHI Clinic call us today on 02070 345999 or log an enquiry through our website.

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