Causes & Symptoms

Cellulite Definition Many scientists believe cellulite, as well as obesity, is mostly predetermined by the genes that the persons carry. However, environmental as well as behavioral factors are also believed to have some effects on the development of cellulite.

The following factors are thought to contribute to the development of cellulite:

  • Being overweight. Though cellulite also appears on thin people, excess weight makes cellulite worse.

  • Pregnancy. Cellulite problems get worse with each successive pregnancy. During pregnancy, estrogen and progesterone levels are high. As a result, pregnant women have increased fatty deposits, weight gain, water retention, and weakened fiber structure. The most effective ways for women to get rid of body fat and cellulite and get back to pre-pregnancy shape are breast-feeding and exercise.

  • Aging. As women age, skin sags and wrinkles. In addition, the body's energy requirement lowers, thus, there is more fat accumulation.

  • Poor blood circulation. When there is impaired blood flow to the fat-storage area, collagen fibers are damaged due to lack of oxygen and accumulation of toxic wastes. The fibers shrink and thicken, resulting in the quilted appearance of the fat chambers. In addition, because oxygen is needed to burn fat for energy, fat in these poorly oxygenated areas is the last to be used. This is also why cellulite is so difficult to eliminate. Poor blood circulation is often caused by sedentary lifestyles, smoking, and high caffeine consumption.

  • Poor lymph drainage. The lymphatic system acts like a sewage system, filtering out and carrying away cellular wastes and toxins. If it is impaired, toxic products accumulate and inflate these fat cells, causing cellulite.

  • Lack of exercise. Cellulite may be caused by impaired blood circulation and poor muscle tone underneath the skin, which are caused by sedentary lifestyles.

  • High fat and sugar consumption. This often leads to excess caloric and fat intake, which causes increases in body fat and thus, cellulite.

  • Food allergy. Food allergy causes a variety of symptoms including food craving, weight gain, bloating and water retention, all of which worsen cellulite.

  • Highly processed foods that contain preservatives, artificial sweeteners and other additives. Heavy consumption of prepackaged foods causes build up of these toxins in the body.

  • Yo-yo dieting. Yo-yo dieting causes a woman to lose fat in the upper body while increasing fat deposits in the buttocks, thighs, and hips. Therefore, this practice tends to make cellulite problems worse than before dieting.

  • Sun exposure. Prolonged exposure to the sun accelerates the skin-aging process.