Dr Peter Prendergast Busts the Myths around Cellulite


The prospect of a summer holiday and having to bare all in front of family, friends and other holiday makers can bring on a serious case of “bathing suit anxiety” for many Irish women, irrespective of their weight or size.

Why? Cellulite – AKA the dreaded orange peel skin. Predominantly found on bottoms, thighs and even upper arms, up to 80 per cent of women will experience some form of cellulite in their lifetime[i].

Yet inspite of how common cellulite is, there’s still a huge amount of misinformation about it. What it is. What causes it and perhaps most importantly, how do you get rid of it and can it be banished for good?

Dr Peter Prendergast gives the bottom line.

What is cellulite?

Cellulite is caused by fat deposits pushing through layers of collagen fibres, or connective tissue, under the skin in common trouble spots such as the buttocks, the thighs and even arms and stomachs giving it adimpled appearance.

These connective tissue can be weakened by hormones, a lack of exercise and muscle tone, excess fat, and also poor circulation. Some of these “septae” harden over time and contract, creating unsightly dimples and depressions in the skin.

With aging, sun damage, and frequent weight changes, loss of skin elasticity reveals more surface irregularities and worsening of cellulite, as well.


  1. Cellulite is fat: Cellulite is not fat but a manifestation of fat – it is the dimples and bumps that are seen when fat is divided into tiny pockets in the skin.
  2. Only Older Women Get Cellulite: Cellulite does not discriminate! Anybody can develop this pesky skin situation – not just older women either.  In fact cellulite can start as early as straight after puberty. The majority of women have some form of cellulite on their body.  From what I’ve seen, it’s at least 80 to 90 percent of Irish women.
  3. Skinny people don’t get cellulite: There is one of the most common myths – that skinny girls don’t suffer from cellulite, which is not true.  Unfortunately, you don’t have to have a lot of body fat to have cellulite which is why even the thinnest women can get cellulite. Their connective skin tissue can be weakened by hormones, a lack of exercise and muscle tone or poor circulation.
  4. Weight Loss = Cellulite Loss: Losing weight may actually make cellulite worse if you’re not building muscle, eating a diet low in processed carbohydrates and sugar and staying hydrated. You need to strengthen fibrous connective tissue under the skin to help regain elasticity and makes the appearance of cellulite less prevalent.
  5. Only Women Get Cellulite: Not true. While men get cellulite far less frequently than women, about 10 percent of men do suffer from cellulite too. Women tend to carry more fat around their hips and thighs.
  6. Beauty creams and lotions can get rid of cellulite: So many expensive beauty products make cellulite-blasting claims saying that  they remove impurities and toxins from the body, but  the reality is that these creams have little efficacy on cellulite and are not supported by any science. The only topical products shown to help in clinical studies are those containing prescription-strength retinol.


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