What Causes Cellulite & How To Treat It

When it comes to health and beauty, many women cite cellulite as a primary concern. Those unsightly lumps, dimples and ripples can make bathing suit season a complete nightmare as well as cause anxiety in everyday situations. All, however, is not lost. Keep reading for a comprehensive guide on this embarrassing problem, which includes information on what causes cellulite, how to get rid of it and how to prevent it.

What is Cellulite?

Simply put, cellulite is made up of deposits of fat just beneath the surface of the skin. These fatty deposits push against the skin’s connective tissues, resulting in a lumpy, puckered appearance. It’s a common misconception that only overweight or obese individuals experience cellulite; this, however is completely untrue! Although excess body weight and BMI can lead to or worsen the problem, cellulite can occur in thin women as well.

 

What Causes Cellulite?

A variety of factors can contribute to the development of cellulite. In order to treat the problem, though, it’s important to determine what causes cellulite on an individual level. And while the causes of this condition may vary, they often include the following:

  • Genetics. Research suggests that having a close blood relative with cellulite significantly increases an individual’s likelihood of developing the problem themselves.
  • Being overweight. As mentioned above, thin people can experience cellulite; however, being overweight can increase the odds of its development.
  • Physical inactivity. Even in thin women, sedentary lifestyles and physical inactivity can lead to the onset of cellulite.
  • Poor diet. Certain foods can lead to or worsen the problem of cellulite. For example, diets low in nutrition and high in fat, calories and starches are known to promote the development of cellulite.
  • Dehydration. Many women who experience cellulite do not get sufficient hydration. Poor hydration can prevent the body from effectively ridding itself of excess fat and other waste; in turn, this results in the body’s storage of fatty deposits beneath the skin.
  • Hormonal factors. There is a reason women experience cellulite more frequently than men. The likely answer lies in female hormones, which are known to play a large role in the body’s production of fat and cellulite.
  • Age. While cellulite can affect younger women, the age-related breakdown of collagen is often associated with this condition.
  • Poor circulation. Like dehydration, insufficient blood flow can prevent the body from getting rid of excess fat.
  • Other lifestyle factors. In some women, lifestyle factors like smoking, excessive drinking or sitting for long periods can lead to the onset of cellulite.

Treating the Problem

Now that we know what causes cellulite, we better able to treat and prevent this unsightly condition. In treating this problem, there are a number of methods that can help reduce the appearance of cellulite and enhance the health of the skin. What’s more, many treatment methods can be performed at home and at little or no cost. A few natural, at-home remedies used in the treatment of cellulite include the following:

  • Exercise. The best way to address the problem of cellulite is through a mixture of cardiovascular and strength-training workouts. Cardio will burn fat and increase blood flow while strength exercises will tone and tighten muscles so that cellulite is less visible.
  • Detoxifying diets. To blast unattractive, embarrassing cellulite, forgo fatty, high-calorie and processed foods in favor of meals high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Detoxifying diets should also be high in fiber, which helps the body get rid of waste more efficiently. Stock up on fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats. As an added bonus, omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, nuts and seeds, have been proven helpful in battling cellulite. And don’t forget to hydrate! Drink no less than eight glasses of water each and every day.
  • Detoxifying flushes. Performing periodic flushes can help rid the body of excess fat, waste and other toxins. And while flushes and cleanses can be harmful in excess, they are healthy in moderation.
  • Massage. There is some evidence that massage helps reduce cellulite by breaking up and dissolving fatty deposits beneath the surface of the skin.
  • Coffee scrubs. Coffee scrubs exfoliate, tighten and rejuvenate the skin, thus reducing the appearance of unsightly cellulite. To make your own, combine 1/4 cup of coffee grounds with 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of olive or coconut oil.
  • Dry-brushing. Like massage, dry-brushing can help break up and dissolve cellulite. Plus, this method can exfoliate the skin and increase blood flow to the epidermis. Here’s how you do it: using a brush with soft, natural bristles, brush dry skin in long, smooth, upward motions.