Hautarzt. 2010 Oct;61(10):864-72. doi: 10.1007/s00105-010-1986-8.
[Article in German]


Cellulite is a condition affecting the dermal and subdermal compartment and developing on thighs and buttocks of almost every woman. Macroscopically, cellulite is characterized by dimpling, visible either spontaneously or after provoking maneuvers. While published concepts on the pathophysiology of cellulite are in parts inconclusive or contradictory, there are at least some recent studies describing or confirming structural and anatomic changes on dermal and subdermal tissues: (1) A gender specific dimorphism with subdermal septae oriented orthogonally towards the skin surface as well as protrusion of fat tissue into the dermis. (2) These intradermal fat protrusions additionally correlate with the presence of cellulite. (3) There is also a correlation between the thickness of the subdermal fat layer and the presence of cellulite. (4) Cellulite also correlates with focal hypertrophic subcutaneous septae and a reduced density of septae in general. Treatment of cellulite aims at (1) the reduction of the subcutaneous fat layer, (2) increase in dermal thickness and elasticity and (3) dissection of hypertrophic connective tissue septae, responsible for the most pronounced dermal indentions. A variety of treatment options have evolved ranging from topical retinol to interstitial laser.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / pathology
  • Adipose Tissue / physiopathology*
  • Buttocks
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipectomy
  • Male
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Thigh