How to Get Rid of Cellulite on Your Thighs, Butt, and Stomach

If you’re a woman over 21 years of age, chances are you’ve seen the appearance of cellulite on your body.

You might wonder if cellulite is harmful or if there are ways that you can get rid of it.

We’ll explain what cellulite is and the steps you can take to reduce cellulite on your thighs, butt, and stomach.

Related: TCA Peel - A Complete Guide to Benefits & Uses

What is Cellulite?

Cellulite is the common name for the collections of fat that push up against the connective tissue of your skin, causing the skin to look lumpy or “cottage cheese-like.” Cellulite often appears on your thighs, stomach, and butt. 

While you might not like how cellulite looks, it isn’t painful and doesn’t affect your overall physical health.  

According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), more than 85% of women 21 years and older have cellulite. Cellulite is not as common in men, with less than 10% of men having it. 

Why is Cellulite More Common In Women Than Men? 

Cellulite is thought to be more common in women than men because of the hypodermis and deep muscle layers. In men, the pattern is crisscrossed, while in women, the pattern runs parallel in the same direction. The crisscross pattern in men is tighter than the parallel one in women, which allows the fat to pucker up through the gap. 

Is Cellulite the Same as Lipedema?

No, cellulite is not the same as Lipedema. Lipedema is a medical condition that can cause excess body fat to accumulate in the buttocks, thighs, calves, and sometimes upper arms. 

Lipedema can cause your skin to become extremely sensitive, and your skin may also swell, hurt, have a cold sensation, and bruise easily. In addition, your skin texture may change into cottage cheese, orange peel, or mattress look seen with cellulite. Severe cases of lipedema can even affect your ability to walk. 

However embarrassing cellulite might be, it is only a cosmetic condition. This is because, while it also often involves the buttock, thighs, and calves, it’s not painful and doesn’t require medical treatment.

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Cellulite Causes and Risk Factors

Cellulite can develop on the thighs, butt, and stomach because these areas of the body naturally have more fatty tissue than other parts of the body. 

Other factors increase the chance of cellulite, including:

  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Loss of Collagen
  • Thinning Epidermis
  • Tissue Inflammation
  • Increase in Fatty Tissue Caused by Weight Gain
  • Poor Circulation
  • Estrogen
  • Sedentary Lifestyle
  • Smoking

Grades of Cellulite

Healthcare professionals use four grades of cellulite to help determine the severity of the condition.

  • Grade 0 - The surface of the skin is smooth.
  • Grade 1 - The skin has an “orange peel” appearance, with one to four superficial depressions. The skin has a slightly “draped” or sagging appearance.
  • Grade 2 - The skin has a “cottage cheese” appearance, with five to nine depressions of medium depth. The skin has a more moderately draped look.
  • Grade 3 - The skin has a “mattress” appearance and has ten or more deep depressions. The skin has a severe draped or sagging look.

Related: Skin Laxity - Causes & Treatment Guide

What Helps Reduce Cellulite?

The best way to get rid of cellulite is through weight loss through regular exercise and eating a healthy diet or cosmetic treatments.

Exercises to Help Reduce Cellulite

It’s important to remember that exercise alone won’t completely get rid of cellulite. But improved strength and muscle mass can help reduce its appearance

Here are some great exercises for cellulite-prone areas:

  • Running
  • Jumping Rope
  • Planking
  • Rowing
  • Swimming
  • Lunges
  • Walking

Diet to Help Reduce Cellulite

Eating a healthy diet can help reduce and minimize the appearance of cellulite. We’ve also included a list of foods you should avoid.

Here’s a list of foods that help reduce cellulite:

  • Water With Lemon
  • Fish and Chicken
  • Seeds & Nuts
  • Fruits
  • Fresh Herbs Like Parsley and Cilantro
  • Ginger
  • Whole-Grain Carbohydrates Like Buckwheat

And here’s a list of foods you should avoid to reduce cellulite:

  • Soda and Sweetened Beverages
  • Processed Meats and Cheeses
  • Butter and Margarine
  • Processed Snacks and Snack Cakes
  • Pizza
  • Canned Soups

While exercising regularly and eating a healthy, balanced diet can’t completely eliminate cellulite, they can help you lose weight and tone your body which can help reduce the appearance of cellulite. 

Cosmetic Treatments to Help Reduce Cellulite

Many cosmetic treatments can help reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Here’s a list of cosmetic treatments to help reduce cellulite:

  • Ultrasound, Radiofrequency, and Infrared Light
  • Lotions and Creams Containing Retinol
  • Spa Treatments Like Chemical Peels
  • Deep Massaging That Puffs the Skin Up
  • Laser Treatment
  • Mesotherapy Using a Needle to Inject Drugs Into the Cellulite
  • Liposuction
  • Subcision
  • Acoustic Wave Therapy 

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Reduce Cellulite Using Exercise, Diet, and Cosmetic Treatments

More than 85% of women over 21 years of age have cellulite. Cellulite typically develops in the buttock, thighs, and calves, as these areas of the body have more fatty tissue.

While you can’t wholly avoid or get rid of cellulite, there are things that you can do to help reduce its appearance.

Exercising regularly and eating a healthy, balanced diet rich in protein can help keep your weight, build more muscle, and tone your body, which can help lessen the appearance of cellulite.

There are many cosmetic treatments available, like skin peels, that can tighten skin and add collagen, which can also help reduce the appearance of cellulite.

By exercising regularly, eating well, and using cosmetic treatments, you can reduce the appearance of cellulite and feel better as you do it.

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