Cellulite is a connective tissue disorder caused by a loss of flexibility of the connective tissue surrounding the fat tissue causing the skin to have a dimpled “orange peel” or “cottage cheese” appearance.
It is a way of storing fat and leads to cells filling with fat. It occurs when the fat cells enlarge, usually with age, and push through the connecting fibres of the skin, which remain the same size, producing dimples to appear on the outer skin as the fat cells emerge through the connective tissue.
A reason for this breakdown in connective fibres is a poor circulatory system. Loss of circulation to an area – whether caused by lack of exercise, too much sitting, clogged arteries or nutrient deficiency – can have a serious impact and accelerate cellulite formation.
Because cellulite is not like regular fat, it must be treated differently. It cannot only be treated with diet and exercise alone. Non-overweight, physically active women also seek treatments to address dimpled-thigh skin.
Hormonal changes can be a contributing factor to cellulite. Oestrogen stimulates the storage of fat and during the later stages of pregnancy also causes the collagen fibres to break down in order to relax the cervix in preparation for birth.