Do you have uneven, lumpy, or dimpled skin on your thighs and buttocks? If so, this could be cellulite. Also referred to as orange-peel skin or cottage-cheese skin, cellulite forms lumps and dimples on thighs, abdomen, buttocks, and hips. It can occur in both men and women, but is a lot more common among females.

While cellulite is not a serious medical condition, it is often deemed unsightly. This can also cause a negative impact on a person’s body image and self-esteem.

What are the grades of cellulite?

Cellulite’s severity and visibility vary. There are four grades, ranging from 1 to 4.

  • Grade 1 – No cellulite is visible even when you pinch your skin.
  • Grade 2 – Skin dimpling is only visible when you pinch the skin. It then disappears or becomes invisible when you stand or lay down.
  • Grade 3 – Cellulite is visible when standing, but then disappears when you lay down.
  • Grade 4 – Cellulite is noticeable when you stand or lay down.

What causes cellulite?

The exact cause of cellulite is not known. It is said to involve the fat accumulation underneath the skin, along with its interaction with the connective tissues. When the fat tissue increases and build-up, it can push up against the skin. This then creates uneven skin dimples.

A number of other factors also contribute to the formation or worsening of cellulite. These include:

  • Gender – Cellulite is more common in women, as they tend to store and accumulate more fat due to higher estrogen levels. A woman’s skin is also thinner than men and has underlying vertical structures. This then causes the fat layer to protrude, leading to uneven skin texture.
  • Genetics – Certain genes are required for the formation of cellulite. It also tends to run in families, so you are more likely to have skin dimpling if your mother or grandmother had it.
  • Hormones – Changes in hormone levels (like estrogen) can make cellulite worse or more visible. This tends to happen during pregnancy, menopause, and after hitting puberty.
  • Age – Your risk of having cellulite increases with age. This is because aging causes the breakdown of collagen and elastin, resulting in thinner and less elastic skin.
  • Weight gain – Extra fat from weight gain makes skin dimpling more noticeable. Fit or skinny people, however, can still develop cellulite.
  • Poor diet – A diet loaded with carbs, fatty, salty and sugary food raises your risks of having more cellulite, as it causes excess fat.
  • Certain lifestyle factors – Being inactive or sedentary most of the increases you risk of having cellulite. The same is also true with smoking, as it damages collagen and elastin. It causes premature skin sagging and wrinkling.

How can we help?

Does your cellulite bother you? Do you want to improve or reduce its appearance? We at Cutis Medical Laser Clinics can help. We provide non-invasive cellulite reduction procedures, as well as combination therapy, that can reduce skin-dimpling appearance without surgery. We use FDA-cleared devices to address cellulite and other skin concerns.

Your individualized treatment plan, depending on various factors such as your acceptable social downtime, your expected time frame and budget, will be explained in detail during your consultation with our Harvard trained Medical Director, Dr. Sylvia Ramirez.