Why Women Are More Prone To Cellulite Than Men

Cellulite makes its appearance regularly — especially on women. The speckled pattern can be a source of frustration that causes distress for some, while others are accepting and embracing this natural and harmless occurrence of skin with the texture of an orange peel. Cellulite is a skin condition that causes dimpled skin on areas of the body, like the butt, thighs, abdomen, and hips. There are procedures that help with getting rid of cellulite, however none of them can promise it won't return and the level of success in getting rid of cellulite varies.

Georgios Tzenichristos, director of London-based skin tightening and cellulite treatment clinic LipoTherapeia, told Aesthetic Medicine that he regularly receives the question: "Do men have cellulite?" The answer is yes, men do get cellulite, but according to Advanced Aesthetic Med Spa in Ocala, Florida, about 10% of men experience cellulite while up to 90% of women are affected by the skin condition.

Why women are prone to experience cellulite

While the exact cause of cellulite is unknown, it appears that the fat between the connective tissues that bind skin and muscle has a role in creating the bumpy condition. These connective tissues are vertical in women, whereas in men, they're criss-crossed — meaning that there's less room for fat to surface in men than women.

Men typically have between 6% and 11% less fat than women, according to EurekAlert! Hormonal production in women's bodies impacts how calories are burned, leading to greater fat storage. Even women at a healthy weight store more fat than men. By age 25, men store just under half of the amount of body fat women store, according to Scientific American. Women usually store this fat in their waist, hips, thighs and butts — the exact areas where cellulite forms. This creates a paradox since women tend to take in fewer calories than men.

"From an energy balance point of view there is no explanation why women should be fatter than men, particularly since men consume more calories proportionately," Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales Anthony O'Sullivan told EurekAlert! "In fact, women burn off more fat than men during exercise, but they don't lose body fat with exercise as much, suggesting women are more efficient fat storers at other times. The question is why does this paradox exist?"

Reducing and erasing cellulite

Those with high amounts of body fat have a greater chance of having cellulite form. Exercise and diet will help decrease the overall amount of fat in the body, and, as a result, may help reduce cellulite, but there's no guarantee. However, diet and exercise are a great preventative measure for those without it and for those who are not genetically predisposed. Women with a small percentage of body fat are still prone to getting cellulite, so additional steps may be needed for the women that have healthy lifestyles and still have cellulite.

In addition to diet and exercise, men and women can utilize other remedies at home including cellulite creams with caffeine or retinol, or wearing compression garments. Some people argue that using products like grape seed extract or gingko biloba will help reduce cellulite, however there's no evidence proving their effectiveness.

If you're not seeing the progress you'd like with the at-home solutions, there are more options. Laser treatment, subcision, vacuum-assisted precise tissue release, acoustic wave therapy, carboxytherapy, and ultrasonic liposculpting are just some of the other procedures and options out there.