What Is Cellulite and What Really Causes It?

Cellulite is a very distressing condition that affects millions of people today, most of which are women. It gives a person an unsightly appearance of fatty lumps and bumps similar to orange peel. Most seem to have the notion that cellulite occurs only in overweight women; however, it exists in slim women as well. There are even men who are affected by cellulite too.

What Is Cellulite?

The exact definition, formation and causes of cellulite have varied theories. The general conclusion though is that cellulite is a type of stored fat that traps some fluid and toxins in the fat cell. Added to this is the diminished flexibility of the connective tissue termed as septae, which connects unerlying tissue layers to the skin, and the outcome is the “cottage cheese” or “orange peel” appearance that we see.

This bumpy look results when the septae fastens the skin to the layers of tissue beneath it, causing accumulated fat to push up between the connective tissues

What Really Causes Cellulite?

Celllulite is a complex condition with different causes. It’s mostly a feminine problem that affects both thin and large women. Some doctors explain that there are two types of cellulite. The first one results from lack of skin elasticity. Your skin could be less elastic if your skin looks rough and wrinkled like an orange peel when you pinch it between your fingers. The skin is also dehydrated. The second type of cellulite tends to be flabby and spongy and commonly occurs in older women.

Hormonal Changes

The formation of cellulite could be linked to certain hormonal fluctuations, especially puberty and pregnancy. According to experts, the common hormonal factor that causes cellulite is estrogen.

The fact that nearly all sufferers of cellulite are women reinforces the theory that this female hormone plays an important role in cellulite development. Estrogen serves to protect vital organs from waste materials by sending these toxins to areas where they will be somewhat harmless and this is thought to become cellulite eventually.


Heredity is a significant factor in the formation of cellulite. Some genes may lead to certain characteristics conducive to cellulite buildup, such as slow metabolism, distribution of fat beneath the skin, gender and insufficiency in circulation. However, inheriting these traits doesn’t mean that you will automatically have cellulite at some point in your life. Through proper diet, targeted exercise and healthy lifestyle, you can possibly confine cellulite to prevent it from appearing. A diet with minimal sugar is best for avoiding cellulite.


Stress can worsen the visibility of cellulite due to circulatory, gynecological and digestive problems associated with it. When you experience prolonged tension, your digestive system functions more slowly, contributing to an increase in the storage of fat and sugar. Your body will also retain toxins. These all eventually lead to the buildup of more cellulite.


This is another factor that causes cellulite development. You are more prone to cellulite if your daily meals consist of excessive fat, carbohydrates, salt, trans-fats and bad fats. Furthermore, eating processed foods, fast foods, and foods with toxins, chemicals and preservatives are bad for your body. Consuming more fiber is highly recommended to combat cellulite. Consistently gaining much weight is greatly favors cellulite formation.

Poor Habits

Smoking, drinking alcoholic drinks and avoiding exercise are important factors as well. Cigarettes and alcohol are teeming with toxins that can worsen the appearance of cellulite. Since cellulite is essentially accumulated fat, having a slack, inactive lifestyle with little or no exercise at all causes you to gain more fat and doesn’t help in treating the condition.