Having a family history of cellulite is known to increase an individual's risk of developing this skin issue. For example, many women whose mothers have cellulite often find they experience it too. Genes influence an individual's metabolism, circulation, and fat distribution under the skin, and these factors may all contribute to whether or not a patient has cellulite. A 2010 Italian study conducted by Enzo Emanuele and team members M. Bertona and D. Geroldi looked at the role genetic factors might play in cellulite susceptibility.
Researchers examined four hundred female patients. Half of the patients were at a healthy weight and had cellulite. Used as a control group, the remaining two hundred patients were of the same age and body mass index as the others, but they lacked cellulite. Researchers studied twenty-five genetic variations (polymorphisms) in fifteen genes. After controlling for age, smoking status, body mass index, and contraceptive use, the authors discovered two specific variations strongly associated with cellulite. Experts located these variations on the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and hypoxia-inducible factor 1A (HIF1a) genes.