Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does sun exposure cause cellulite?"
I am an athletic 26 year old and in the past year since getting several bad sun burns my thighs have a lot of cellulite. Should I blame the sun? I don't know what else could be to blame.
Fortunately, sun exposure does not change the underlying fat content (cellulite) of your body. Thus, the sunburns you have experienced over the past year probably have nothing to do with your cellulite. Cellulite is caused by fat that breaks through outer connective tissue causing ridges and waves in the skin. While the actual cause of this phenomenon is unknown, it is thought to be related to certain hormones that are present in females as they begin puberty all the way through menopause. Not all women develop it, suggesting that genetics and family history also plays a role. Unfortunately, cellulite does not always occur because of weight gain, and does not always respond to weight loss therapies. However, a reduction in the amount of subcutaneous fat in your legs may help the appearance a small amount. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician (family doctor or internal medicine doctor). He or she can perform a detailed physical exam of your legs and see if there is anything else going on besides cellulite. If you are overweight, your doctor can help you choose a weight loss plan. If there are any cosmetic options available, your doctor can make the appropriate referral. Good luck.
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