What Is Cellulite – Causes, Treatments, Prevention, Removal – An Overview

Most people don’t know what is cellulite, despite the fact that over 90 percent of women have cellulite. This annoying condition does not discriminate. Thin women have it, overweight women have it, celebrities have it… It really does not matter who you are. The chances are that over the years this pesky “condition” will surface on your body, likely on your thighs, butt, legs and hips.

what is cellulite - an overview


Even though almost every woman will develop cellulite over her lifetime, ask any woman what is cellulite and the chances are that you’ll hear a number of different answers. Some of the answers are rather descriptive  such as: bumps under the skin, dimply appearance of the skin, orange peel syndrome, cottage cheese thighs and so on.

If you ask a physician what is cellulite or check out the online Wikipedia for a definition, you’ll probably learn that in medical circles, it is referred to as “adiposis edematosa”, “dermopanniculosis deformans”, “status protrusus cutis”. You will also discover definitions that are beyond one’s comprehension.

The aim of this overview is to give you a simple definition of what is cellulite, how does it form, what causes it, what kind of treatments are available and how you can prevent it. If you already have it, the article will point you in a right direction to learn how to get rid of cellulite.

What Is Cellulite

Unlike what some physicians and their medical terminology may want you to believe, cellulite is not a medical condition. It is nothing more than accumulation of fat deposits in the connective tissue underneath the epidermis. The bumpy look develops because the fatty deposits push against the connective tissue above and cause the skin to pucker.

Cellulite is not harmful physiologically. But in some women it is harmful psychologically because its look is so unsightly. That, in itself, may cause many women to lose their self esteem.

Although in many cases the dimply appearance is only a minor “flaw”, in some women its appearance can be quite severe and ugly looking. In some cases, even painful cellulite may develop.

How Does Cellulite Form

It forms due to a “disruption” of the connective tissue or fibrous septae which, in an orderly fashion, interlace the fatty globules under the epidermis. When there is too much fat under the skin the fibrous septae are unable to preserve the natural order of the fat and the connective tissue. As a result the fat becomes disarrayed. The fat will “push out” and cause the dimply, orange peel appearance on the skin.

In his excellent video Dr. Schultz, explains what is cellulite and the events that lead to the formation of the bumps and dimples on your skin.

What Causes Cellulite

There are a number of factors that cause cellulite. Some of them we have no control of, others we can definitely control. Mainly, the factors include gender, genetics, hormones, lifestyle habits, diet and exercise habits, architecture of the epidermis and connective tissue structure.

Genetics – you may be predisposed to develop this pesky condition, although the predisposition alone does not mean you have to develop it. The main genetic factors are:

  • gender
  • fat distribution
  • metabolism
  • circulatory problems
  • skin and connective tissue architecture

Hormonal Factors – although there is no strong conclusive scientific evidence, it is believed that hormonal changes, especially estrogen and insulin may play a role in the development of this unsightly condition.

Diet – eating unhealthy foods, including fats, high GI carbohydrates and not enough fiber will result in fat accumulation and eventually the orange peel look.

Stress – A stressful lifestyle is believed to contribute to the development of this pesky condition. Increased levels of the catecholamides are thought to be responsible. (Catecholamides are a class of aromatic amines which include a number of neurotransmitters, such as epinephrine and dopamine).

Lifestyle – many sufferers of this condition are inactive women or women who have to stand or sit in one position for a long time. Smoking is also thought to be a contributing factor to cellulite formation (likely because smoking affects circulation).

Different Types Of Cellulite

There are 3 types of cellulite based on 3 grades of appearance.

Grade 1. – refers to a condition which is not visible on the skin. However, when you pinch the skin the bumpiness becomes visible.

Grade 2. – cellulite is visible when you are standing and not visible when lying down.

Grade 3. – the skin is quite rough, the typical orange peal appearance is visible at all times (when standing or lying down)

Commercial Cellulite Treatments

There are numerous commercial cellulite treatments and procedures available on the market. All of these treatments promise to eliminate the dimply look. Sadly, most of the commercial treatments have not been able to remove cellulite permanently. But many of the treatments will provide at least a temporary relief.

The good news is that recently, several new treatments became available that specifically manipulate the connective fibers under the skin. These treatments show a promise of a long term cure.

The commercial cosmetic cellulite treatments come as:

  • cellulite creams
  • massage therapies to improve circulation
  • laser / heat treatments
  • liposuction to remove fat deposits
  • mesotherapy injections to break down fat
  • treatments which manipulate the fibrous septae under he skin. These treatments are very promising and something women have been waiting for a very long time
  • ionithermie – electricity based detox treatment
  • body wraps

How To Get Rid Of Cellulite Naturally

Non-commercial cellulite treatments are also available. They are often referred to as “natural treatments”. These treatments are non-invasive, free or at most inexpensive procedures or methods. Often you can do or prepare them yourself. They include:

  • exercises
  • anti-cellulite diet
  • oils for cellulite
  • wraps

Lastly, you can also find specialized clothing on the market that will help you “hide” or reduce cellulite, at least temporarily.

How To Prevent Cellulite

There are number factors you can control which will help you prevent the appearance of cellulite on your body or at least help you minimize its look.

The best ways to prevent it is to:

  • eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fiber and healthy fats
  • avoid carbohydrate-rich foods especially the ones full of sugar
  • lose weight – although this alone will not get rid of cellulite if you already have it. But losing weight will diminish its appearance.
  • exercise to build muscle in the areas where it is prone to appear
  • wear looser undergarments

In summary, the objective of the article was to give you a very general overview of what is cellulite, what causes it, how to treat it and remove it and also how you can prevent its appearance. To find more interesting topics head over to Cellulite Bust site navigation bar at the top of this page and choose another topic that interests you.

Well, next time when someone asks you what is cellulite, what causes it and how to get rid of it, you’ll know what to say. Do you agree? Please feel free to respond in the comments below.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply