Some bad news about cellulite and weight loss

A study published in August's Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery seems to put to bed one of the myths about cellulite and it's relationship to your weight. In summary, as you gain weight the appearance of cellulite will worsen but losing weight will not necessarily improve the appearance.

John Kitzmiller, a plastic surgeon and co-author on the study, said: "Cellulite is not specific to overweight people but excess weight may worsen the condition. Although the appearance of cellulite diminished for the majority of patients, weight loss did not totally eradicate the condition. The dimples appear to be permanent features that lessen in depth as the pounds come off."

This is really old news to some extent and highlights the two mechanisms we usually have to explain cellulite.

1. Cellulite is produced as cells of fat get bigger & stretch against and distort some of the connective tissue boundaries if adjacent tissue. This is why we think you get cellulite from weight gain (ie. the distortion causes the surface irregularities).

2. Cellulite is produced from relaxation and descent with resulting traction of connective tissue fibers that normally run perpendicular to the skin. This is the cellulite that you see on some very thin women and those who've lost large amounts of weight. You can witness this phenomena by watching the cellulite disappear or exaggerate depending upon one's position. In the massive weight loss group after gastric bypass or banding, the connective tissue is severely attenuated and ripples despite the fat collections often being deflated.



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