What is Cellulite?

Cellulite is caused by “bulging” fat-pockets tethered down by fibrous bands under the skin. Excess fat and water-retention aggravates the “bulging.” Dimpling and uneven skin, which is characteristic of cellulite, has also been likened to an orange peel – peau d’ orange.

Cellulite, which affects over 90% of post-pubescent women to varying degrees, is commonly found on the thighs, buttocks and legs. The older one gets, the more likely that there is cellulite. This can be explained by an increase of hard fibrous bands accumulating in the thighs over the years.


On the point about poor circulation, it is very interesting to note that doctors in the early days of Medicine (19th century) classified Cellulite as a disease of poor circulation and possibly an “infection”. You find the term “Cellulitis” used in older textbooks. Cellulitis nowadays denote an infection of the skin and its subcutaneous tissues. Which Cellulite is absolutely not. It however shares the characteristic of infection, like swelling and poor circulation.


Cellulite is caused by bulging fat pockets squeezed by fibrous bands in certain parts of the body. The fibrous septae in men are diagonal whereas in women where they are perpendicular to skin. This and the difference in fat distribution between the sexes, make cellulite more common in women.



The actual problem is not the result of being overweight, contrary to common beliefs. Cellulite can sometimes be found on non-obese girls in their 20’s.

However, weight reduction often causes it to appear less visible. Exercise decreases the appearance of cellulite mainly be improving tissue circulation. And to a certain extent, it reduces fat deposits.


Treatments that improve local tissue circulation will be useful. Medical grade RF, Mechanical RF, Shockwave, and even manual massage will he useful. The heat generated by some of these methods destroys a little of the fats, contracts the fibrous septae and improves tissue circulation.

We have both mechanical and non-mechanical RF, shockwave and 2 kinds of cryolipolysis for the above purpose. However, these are only useful for mild degrees of cellulite. And regular maintenance is needed, as you would imagine for a condition where the underlying problem is “poor circulation”.

Subcision in the hands of an experienced liposuction doctor is a more permanent solution. The harder and thicker fibrous bands can be severed in subcision, which is a minor surgical procedure. Like below.


Cellulite-free legs like in fashion models can only happen in print media because of photoshop. In reality, very few women can escape having some cellulite. It’s all a matter of degree.

However, with a scientific approach to understanding and treating the underlying causes, we can treat cellulite to a reasonably good degree.

Read more about Liposuction, Vaser Liposuction, High Definition Vaser Liposuction, and what realistically to expect from liposuction.