What Causes Cellulite?

What Causes Cellulite?

You’ve noticed increasing amounts of cellulite. You thought that it only occurred in older people. But cellulite can appear as early as your 20s. Those bumps and depressions in your skin make you appear much older than your age. Cellulite can appear in many places on your body — your neck, underarms, abdomen, buttocks, and/or thighs, for starters. 

Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jack Hensel Jr. with Lowcountry Plastic Surgery Center in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, offers two types of procedures — Smartlipo and Venus Freeze — to help reduce the appearance of your cellulite. 

What is cellulite? 

You’ve got lumpy, bumpy cellulite; it may occur on different areas of your skin. Cellulite is an uneven skin texture that covers areas of underlying fatty tissue. The skin is being pulled toward the fat by tiny ropes of connective tissue. Your skin is no longer smooth; the surface has many small, contiguous bumps all over it, making it look crepey and old. 

What causes cellulite? 

Bands of connective tissue connected to muscles under your skin begin to constrict abnormally. The constriction causes your fatty tissue to push upward; now your skin is dimpled. 

Researchers don’t have all the answers as to what causes cellulite. Following are likely contributing factors


Almost all women (between 80 and 90%) get some cellulite, and most men (more than 90%) do not. Scientists know that fibers in men’s connective tissue cross over each other, while in women, the fibers run parallel to each other. The vertical fibers in women’s skin may result in more dimpling. 

Hormone surge 

Scientists also think that the female hormone estrogen may be the culprit in the development of cellulite, since it sometimes develops during pregnancy. 

Decrease in hormones

During menopause, women’s supply of estrogen plummets. Fat cells grow larger as estrogen declines. At the same time, your body makes less collagen, a key protein that keeps the skin’s connective tissues strong, smooth, and supple. These factors can cause the fatty deposits to create raised bumps on your skin as they push through weakened tissue. 


The way your fat is distributed under your skin, your circulation, and metabolism may impact cellulite development. Several genetic factors may predispose you to developing cellulite. 


Researchers have noted that overweight and sedentary individuals are more likely to have cellulite than slender people, although thin people can get it, too. 

Minimizing cellulite 

Thankfully, there are ways to minimize this unsightly wrinkled, crepey skin.   


Smartlipo is a minimally invasive procedure that destroys the integrity of fat cells and sucks out the excess fat. A tiny laser fiber that does the work is inserted just under your skin. Local anesthesia eliminates discomfort. 

Venus Freeze 

Dr. Hensel has also selected Venus Freeze to reduce the appearance of cellulite. It’s a noninvasive procedure that heats the skin’s underlying tissue, stimulating your body to produce new collagen and elastin, the proteins that keep your skin looking youthful. It’s safe for all skin tones. 

Call or book an appointment online today with Lowcountry Plastic Surgery Center to restore your skin’s beauty. 

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