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Cellulite - how it occurs and how to get rid of it

Everything you need to know about cellulite if you want to get rid of it. Causes of cellulite, influencing factors and treatment methods.

For the word Cellulite in Latvian has two meanings:

  • Cellulite, English - cellulite. The name comes from the Latin word Cellula, a cell that refers to a change in the structure of the subcutaneous tissue that causes fat cells to protrude from the surface of the skin, creating skin irregularities that irritate us women.
  • Cellulite, English - cellulitis. What is an inflammation of the loose connective tissue under the skin caused by a bacterial infection - a serious condition that is treated with antibiotics.

Given that the names in Latvian are identical and also very similar in other languages, be careful when looking for information. In the following I will write about cellulite, by which we mean the formation of skin irregularities.


How is cellulite formed?

It is believed that after puberty, cellulite has varying degrees of 80 to 90 percent of women, but this is hardly observed in men. Most people believe that women have a higher percentage of body fat than men and therefore women develop cellulite, but men do not.

Actually cellulite formation is associated with anatomy. The skin is connected to the underlying muscles by many small ligaments. For men, these ligaments are thicker and more numerous, and they form a cross-pattern - all this together keeps the subcutaneous fat in its intended place.

Women, on the other hand, have vertically connected ligaments, and this arrangement of ligaments creates "pockets" of fat cells. As the volume / volume of these 'pockets' increases, there are depressions in the areas where the skin attaches to the muscles, which also creates an 'orange peel' effect.

Skin with cellulite and skin without cellulite







The visibility of cellulite depends on your genes, the percentage of body fat and your age, as your skin becomes thinner and more elastic with age. Hormonal factors that determine skin structure, skin texture and body type play an important role in the development of cellulite.

There are 4 stages of cellulite development:

  1. You have no visible signs of cellulite;
  2. Your skin is smooth when standing, but small depressions appear when you sit down;
  3. Small depressions are visible in your skin, both standing and sitting;
  4. There are marked depressions / roughness in your skin, both when standing and sitting.

What causes cellulite?

Or more precisely, what promotes cellulite, because the exact cause of most women developing cellulite, but not others, is unknown. It is thought to occur as a result of the interaction between the connective tissue in the dermatological layer below the surface of the skin and the fat layer just below it, and this process is also influenced by factors such as:

  • Hormones and age;
  • Genetics;
  • Nutrition and lifestyle.

Hormones and age

It is believed that hormones such as estrogen, insulin, noradrenaline, thyroid hormones and prolactin plays an important role in the development of cellulite.

One of the theories is that as menopause approaches, estrogen levels in women decrease and blood flow to the subcutaneous connective tissue also decreases. As a result, these connective tissues receive less oxygen, resulting in a decrease in collagen production, which again leads to a decrease in skin elasticity. In turn, when estrogen levels decrease, fat cells increase, and as a result, fat deposits become more visible.



Certain genes are needed for cellulite to develop. Genetic factors may be related to a person's metabolic rate, subcutaneous fat distribution, ethnicity, and circulatory efficiency.


Nutrition and lifestyle

Cellulite is not caused by "toxins" - it is a myth. The whole body copes with them very well without any problems detox diet assistance. Another thing is that more and more industrially processed foods appear in our diet, which tend to contain completely artificial substances (emulsifiers, dyes, preservatives…) that accumulate in our body because our body cannot process them (drinking colored juices (detox diets) does not help ). Given that the problem of cellulite affects more and more women and younger women, there is reason to believe that this unhealthy food may be contributing to the development of cellulite.

The development of elevated cellulite is possible:

  • People who eat too much fat, carbohydrates and salt and too little fiber. Don't get me wrong - we need fats, carbohydrates and salt, here the emphasis is on words too much;
  • For people with a sedentary lifestyle;
  • For smokers;
  • People who wear tight-fitting underwear and / or straps that impede blood circulation;

Cellulite is more common in overweight people, but it can also be slender and athletic. That's why healthy diet and an active lifestyle can help, if not get rid of cellulite, then at least reduce its visibility.


How to get rid of cellulite?

Cellulite does not affect your overall health, but there is an aesthetic side, which is often at least as important. Unfortunately, it is not possible to get rid of cellulite completely, but it is possible to reduce the visibility of cellulite by combining an active lifestyle, diet and treatment procedures.


Anti-cellulite products

Anti-cellulite creams

It can help reduce the visibility of cellulite, but the effects will not be long lasting. To maintain results, the cream should be used daily. The creams tighten and moisturize the skin, making it smoother and firmer. However, creams do not relieve you of cellulite - they only temporarily reduce its visibility, because they do not affect the fat cells under the skin in any way.

Caffeine and vitamin A (retinol) are common ingredients in anti-cellulite creams. Caffeine could increase blood flow and also act as a diuretic. This could change the water content in the fat, which in turn could reduce the visibility of cellulite. Vitamin A, on the other hand, can reduce the visibility of cellulite by thickening the outer layer of the skin, but can also cause, for example, dryness, redness, peeling and sensitivity to the sun. Read more about vitamins HERE.

Studies on anti-cellulite creams are available, but the results are very different. It is possible that some have been financed by the cream manufacturers themselves, so the impartiality is questionable. To see the results, the creams must be used every day for six months or more, and if you stop using them, the effect is lost.


Medical procedures for cellulite reduction

These medical procedures can be performed by a doctor or dermatologist. They will also help you determine which procedure is best for you.



Cryolipolysis is the freezing of fat cells under the skin, which causes the fat cells to rupture and be absorbed into the body. Several procedures are required and it may take three to four months for you to notice a reduction in cellulite. This is a relatively new (and also expensive) method of reducing the signs of cellulite, but promises to reduce the thickness of the subcutaneous fat layer by 20%-80%.



A non-invasive procedure in which fat in the abdomen and thighs is removed using sound waves. The results are visible after two to three months. Ultrasound therapy is relatively effective, but it is recommended to combine it with other cellulite reduction procedures for better results.


Acoustic wave vibrotherapy

Also called shock wave therapy. Acoustic waves cause mechanical vibrations and mass connective tissue. It helps stimulate and increase collagen production, thus improving the appearance, texture and elasticity of the skin. Several procedures are required to see the results.



Cellfina is a non-surgical procedure in which the subcutaneous tissue is broken with a needle. This procedure is mainly used to reduce the visibility of cellulite on the thighs and buttocks. The results can be seen after about three days and can last up to three years.


Laser therapy

One of the types of laser therapy Cellulase - breaks the subcutaneous tissue and may also make your skin thicker, reducing the visibility of cellulite (essentially similar to Cellfina, except that a laser beam is used instead of a needle). Improvements are visible after several procedures and may be visible for six months or more.

Another type of laser therapy is a low-intensity laser beam that creates heat that melts the fat cells and then the fat is removed naturally. Although the amount of fat is actually reduced during this procedure, its effect on the visibility of cellulite is negligible, as the subcutaneous ligaments are not broken.


Vacuum-Assisted Precise Tissue Release

I didn't know how to translate this 😊 The basic idea is similar to Cellfina, but instead of a needle, the procedure uses a device that cuts subcutaneous ligaments with many small blades and then smoothes the skin with a vacuum. The results can be visible for up to three years.

Cons - The treatment is expensive and requires a longer recovery time compared to other anti-cellulite treatments.



During this procedure, gaseous carbon dioxide is injected under the skin with a needle. It is believed that it stimulates blood circulation in the treated area and improves skin elasticity, which in turn can help reduce the visibility of cellulite. Transient bruising and malaise may occur. The results are visible after 7 to 10 procedures.



During this procedure, injections of minerals, caffeine, hormones, amino acids, enzymes and plant extracts are performed in problem areas. The compositions are very different - almost everyone who practices this type of therapy uses a unique mixture of ingredients. For this reason, it is not possible to know which ingredients, if any, are effective in reducing cellulite.

Some studies show that this method works, but again, the composition of the injections is different and you will only know if the procedure is working for you after the procedure. Side effects are common and include redness and swelling, sensitive lumps under the skin, infections, allergic skin reactions, and so on.



During the procedure, dead cells are removed with alumina or salt crystals, thus speeding up the skin's regeneration process. Several procedures will be needed to reduce the visibility of cellulite.



Also called LPG massage. It is a spa treatment that involves a deep tissue massage to lift your skin. The treatment session usually lasts about 45 minutes and requires several sessions to see the results.

The results of studies on this procedure are different - some did not show a difference between women who received LPG massage and those who did not. Other studies show that after a course of LPG massage in women, there was a significant reduction in cellulite vision. However, these results were short-lived and the signs of cellulite returned within about a month of stopping treatment.


Home cellulite reduction products

There are many different methods for reducing cellulite, but most of them lack a scientific basis - so be critical of what follows.



Physical activity can help reduce body fat, which in turn can reduce cellulite. Choose an exercise program that combines aerobic and strength / resistance exercises. Whatever the effect of training on cellulite, you will definitely reduce your body fat and tone your muscles. A well-developed and strong body will definitely look better, your self-confidence and well-being will improve.


Dry massage

When rubbing the body using a dry natural loofah sponge or body brush. This method is thought to stimulate blood and lymph flow, remove dead skin cells and stimulate the growth of new cells. This procedure is recommended to be performed in a straight and circular motion from the feet upwards. The duration of the massage is about 5 minutes every day, preferably before a bath or shower.


Coffee scrub

The use of coffee grounds as an exfoliating and scrub is a popular way to remove dead skin cells, promote new cell growth and strengthen the skin. You can only use coffee grounds or mix them with coconut oil, olive oil or sugar. Rub the problem area with coffee grounds gently for a few minutes or leave the mixture on the skin for about 10 minutes and then rinse.

Coffee grounds can stimulate blood circulation and promote lymph flow. However, there are no scientific studies to substantiate these claims.


Apple cider vinegar

It is recommended to drink one tablespoon of diluted apple cider vinegar three times a day. Or apply a solution of apple cider vinegar and water on the skin in problem areas.

I can't comment on applying vinegar to the skin, but drinking apple cider vinegar does not help to weaken or reduce the visibility of cellulite. At least in my practice, which has lasted for more than 20 years, I have not met any woman who has been helped by apple cider vinegar to solve such problems. But I have met women who have had health problems after drinking vinegar.


Bioactive collagen peptides

Peptides - short amino acid chains. I am usually quite skeptical about the promises made by food supplement manufacturers, but there is one interesting thing A study was conducted in 2015 indicating a decrease in cellulite vision in women taking bioactive collagen peptides.

Participants took a bioactive collagen peptide supplement daily for 6 months. A reduction in cellulite on their thighs was generally observed. Improvements were seen in both moderate and overweight women. The greatest improvement was seen in women with moderate body weight.

Although the results are interesting, more research is needed to support the role of any dietary supplement in improving cellulite.


Drinking water

I have not found any studies that have studied the relationship between drinking water and the visibility of cellulite, but the fact that water is one of the most important components of our body is an indisputable fact. Water is also one of the most important factors in weight loss. If you drink enough water, excess salts and other minerals will be flushed out and your blood and lymph flow may improve.

Read more about the importance of water in our body HERE.


Key takeaways

You will not be able to get rid of cellulite completely, because it is not possible to change a woman's anatomy. But reducing the visibility of cellulite is both possible and the best choice is exactly a lifestyle change. Take it seriously - if you are in the situation you are in now - it is likely that you are doing something wrong and until you eliminate the cause, all the improvements will be temporary.

Although you cannot control your age, you can make changes to your diet and lifestyle that can help reduce the visibility of cellulite. Respectively - not to fight cellulite with the help of various procedures and means from the outside, but to eliminate the causes from the inside.

Start by reviewing your eating habits because - You are what you eat. And literally! Try to cook more yourself using fresh and unprocessed products.

Regular physical activity can also help reduce the visibility of cellulite, because when you move, you not only employ the muscles, but also massage everything around them and thus promote both blood circulation and lymph flow in your problem areas.

If you are interested in professional procedures - do not choose them yourself based on beautiful advertising promises, but first consult a dermatologist.

When it comes to anti-cellulite treatments, it is important to understand that their results are not permanent. You will need to repeat them regularly to save the results.



Insights Into the Pathophysiology of Cellulite

Cellulite: A Review of its Anatomy, Physiology and Treatment


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