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How To Treat Fibrous Cellulite?

Fibrous cellulite is the most crusted form of cellulite and is particularly difficult to remove. It is painful and provides the skin with a grainy appearance. Read on to learn how fibrous cellulite develops and if you can alleviate it.

Published February 29, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 4 min read

Important Facts About Fibrous Cellulite

Fibrous cellulite is crusted, hard and feels painful. Sometimes it also takes on a purple color. Fibrous cellulite is caused by the hardening of collagen fibers surrounding fat cells, also called adipocytes. These cells are located in the subcutaneous layer (hypodermis) of the skin.

The skin consists of three main layers: the epidermis, the dermis and the hypodermis. The epidermis, the part that is on the surface, has a protective function and is covered with the hydrolipidic film. The dermis is thick and elastic. Among other things, it contains the sebaceous glands that produce sebum. The hypodermis is the deepest layer of the skin. It consists largely of adipocytes, serves as an energy reserve and has a heat-insulating function.

How Does Fibrous Cellulite Develop?

The hardening of collagen fibers that leads to the development of fibrous cellulite is due to the glycation of these fibers, i.e. the deposition of sugar on their surface. This changes their structure, which can lead to a loss of their function. Collagen fibers normally have the function of providing mechanical strength to the tissue against stretching and pulling. When they harden, the skin is pulled downward, compressing the fat cells between the dividing walls of the subcutaneous tissue and creating skin depressions that are the cause of dimpling.

Fibrous cellulite can be caused by several factors, including lack of exercise, a high-sugar diet, or heredity. The hardening of collagen fibers can also be caused by certain inflammatory mediators that occur with age or when toxins accumulate in the tissues.

Can Fibrous Cellulite Be Treated?

The traces of this type of cellulite are the most difficult to remove. Therefore, it is better to prevent it with a healthy lifestyle.

How To Prevent Fibrous Cellulite?

There are some things you can do in your everyday life to prevent the appearance of cellulite.

  • A balanced diet: a diet too rich in sugar promotes the glycation of collagen fibers and the development of cellulite.

  • Regular physical activity: Exercise not only influences the mood positively, but also balances the ratio between absorbed and consumed sugar.

  • Massages: Palper-Rouler stimulates the circulation of fat and water and has a draining effect. However, the effectiveness of this method on fibrous cellulite is very limited.

How To Relieve Fibrous Cellulite?

Once fibrous cellulite has taken hold, certain aesthetic medicine techniques can be turned to in order to alleviate the appearance of cellulite.

  • Liposuction: In this technique, fat is suctioned out using cannulas inserted through fine incisions in the skin. After the operation, there is often swelling and bruising, which disappears after a few weeks.

Radiofrequency therapy: By emitting an electromagnetic wave with a very high frequency, the hypodermis is heated and lipolysis is promoted. As a result, the accumulated fat is removed and the adipocytes shrink. However, this procedure is not suitable for pregnant women and people with pacemakers or melanoma. After the treatment, redness and swelling may occur for a few hours.


  • RAWLINGS A. Cellulite and its treatment. International Journal of Cosmetic Science (2006).

  • HERMAN A. & al. Caffeine's mechanisms of action and its cosmetic use. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology (2013). 

  • SADICK N. Treatment for cellulite. International Journal of Women’s Dermatology (2018).


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