Thursday, August 17, 2006

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.



Gerry said...

I was losing weight and working out all the time and I just couldnt get rid of my cellulite. Well, like most people, I knew about Endermology, but I was just told about this new one at my spa that is endermology but it is much smaller but has the same attachments. Its called the E-6. So I started the treatments on my things, stomach, and bum and not only is it getting rid of my cellulite but I am actually loosing inches too! My body really looks amazing! Anyway, if you want Endermologie, check out some spas and see if they do the treatments. Less expensive than the doctors office too.

Dr. Rob Oliver said...

The science behind endermology is pretty dodgy, and despite having some fans, it has not been clear in some of the more formal studies that there's much of an effect. I think there's as much of a placebo effect from "hands on" treatment as much as true physiologic changes. Endermology should be though of as a spa service rather then a medical therapy I think

Anonymous said...

Actually, Endermologie has been scientifically proven in more than 85 clinical studies. Exclusively performed on FDA cleared LPG devices, the treatment was the first to have FDA clearance for cellulite reduction and inch loss. Having been the #1 non-surgical cellulite and fat reduction treatment for over 20 years, it's obvious it works.

Dr. Rob Oliver said...

Well, all I can tell you is that the consensus from people who actually do a lot of body contouring or liposuction surgery is that endermologie was over-hyped when introduced and left a lot of unhappy patients when they were charged a lot of money for it. When used as an adjunct (ie. they didn't have to pay and it was used post-operatively after surgery) it was more popular.

Anonymous said...

Hi guys, you might want to check this out. It's a free download of Morbid Obese People. There you can find out the 7 reasons why you becoming obese was inevitable, and others. Julianne Kennedy is giving it away for free. o better check it out here:

Helen said...

Hi Dr. Rob! I've quoted your post for my Get Rid of Cellulite article. Thank you for sharing this information!