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Physiology of the Skin: Cellulite Questions

By: Peter T. Pugliese, MD
Posted: August 5, 2008, from the August 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Here are some questions about cellulite that need to be answered by more research. Each of these questions is a research project. To read more about the treatment of celluite, see Peter T. Pugliese, MD's, article in the August 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine: "A New Look at Cellulite, Part II."

  • Why do some women not get cellulite?
  • Why do only a small percentage of Asian women not get cellulite?
  • What is the mechanism of MMPs attacking connective tissue in specific areas?
  • How can we best prevent menstrual cycling from destroying nonuterine tissue?
  • Why does estrogen appear to precipitate autoimmune reactions? How?
  • How can we boost collagen production safely and for a lifetime?
  • Are all fibroblast the same all over the body?
  • Do specific populations of fibroblasts respond to specific hormones?
  • Why is there no biological feedback mechanism to correct cellulite?
  • Hormones are potent biological compounds with multiple effects—how much do we really know about them?
  • We should look carefully at the relationship among estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, fat metabolism, neurological integrity and carbohydrate metabolism. Although a great deal is known, we have a long way to go.
  • Finally, what are the biological variations relating to cellulite in the various ethnic groups, not just Asians. Cellulite is a disease that may represent a springboard to understanding many of the biological problems relating to both aging and cancer.