Women's Health

Facts About Cellulite

Dr. Ryan Shelton Headshot
By Dr. Ryan Shelton, NMD

What is Cellulite?

Cellulite is a condition that is more prominent in women than it is in men. The condition occurs when the collagen in our bodies become loose allowing our skin to move away from underlying tissues. When this occurs the fat in our bodies which looked more compressed begins to show causing the unsightly sags and wrinkles and dimples we hate so much.

Cellulite is not a harmful condition or should you be concerned from a health perspective. The reduction of cellulite is more of a cosmetic condition than a medical one. Those with cellulite can do everything that other people can do. When you have cellulite it is more prominent in the legs buttocks and arms. Women who suffer from this condition more than men will go through great lengths to remove the outward appearance of the condition with creams, exercise and in some cases surgery.

What Causes Cellulite?
As stated above, cellulite is just a natural condition that affects us when we get older. The first sign of the condition can be found in the face. People with cellulite will begin to see bags form under their eyes. Most people will contribute this condition to lack of sleep when in fact it is the first sign of the condition.

The next sign of the condition will be wrinkles around the eyes which have been coined “crow’s feet”. From there other areas of the face will show the condition and finally move throughout the rest of the body.

Legs and buttocks are typically the next to shows signs of cellulite.


Heredity or your family history is the first sign that you may be afflicted with this condition. If you look at other members of your family such as your mother and grandmother, you will see how they age. If they age well, as the term suggests, then the signs of cellulite will be less apparent. If we are said not to age well then the signs of cellulite become more pronounced

Stress is another key component in the development of cellulite. Stated above the term “Lived a hard life” is another indication of stress. When we are stressed we tend to eat more, sleep less, refrain from exercise as well as rev-up our heart rates, and perform other acts that are not healthy for us. When we experience stress our bodies start to wear down. When we are down our collagen levels begin to diminish or break down which leads to cellulite appearance.


Diet is a main cause of the amount of fat that we have in our bodies. Now no matter what your diet is or which diet plan you choose to go on, our bodies will always have fat in them. This fat is what’s showing up when we have cellulite. Reducing the amount of fat in our bodies will help the condition but it is a short term fix. To help with the appearance of cellulite in our bodies we need to add or fix the collagen that has been lost.

Slow Metabolism

Our metabolism plays a key part in the way our bodies process food and in return determines if the food is broken down into energy or fat. If we have a high metabolism the likelihood of the food being broken down into energy is higher than if we had a slower metabolism which would store the food as fat for later consumption. If the food is stored as fat then the appearance of cellulite is greater. This is why cellulite appears more prominent in older women than it does in younger individuals.

Hormone Changes

Another reason cellulite appears more prominent in women than it does in men is because of hormone changes. When women are young they begin to experience hormone changes. As teenagers they enter into puberty and begin their development for having children. When they are in their early twenties women begin the desire to have children. When this becomes a reality their bodies become very hormonal which helps in the development of these children. After childbirth women once again change their hormone levels in order to handle the needs of the newborns.

When the children are all grown and out of the house the condition known as menopause sets in. This condition makes the women unable to conceive a child and once again the hormones in their bodies change. This constant flux of hormone changes throughout life wears down the body which in turn reduces the amount of collagen we produce which intensifies the appearance of cellulite.


Dehydration is the condition where the body is lacking the amount of water it needs in order to function. Since collagen is supported by hydration levels and reacts to the amount of water in the system, when we are dehydrated the collagen in our bodies dries up as well which contributes to the appearance of cellulite.

Toxins in the body

Fact or Myth – Cellulite is caused by toxins in the body?

Myth – Toxins in the body have nothing to do with cellulite. One of the main claims of the cellulite creams and other products that we use to remove cellulite state that they will also remove toxins from the body. It is stated that these toxins cause the fatty tissue break away from the collagen which causes cellulitis.

Removing toxins from the body is always a good thing. Doing your research into what foods will help remove these toxins will be a great endeavor for you and your health. Unfortunately when it comes to removing cellulite from your body in this manner you are wasting your time.

Men Vs Women

Fact or Myth – Women get cellulite more often than Men do?

Fact – Sorry ladies, but it is true. Women are more likely to get cellulite than men. The main reason for this is women have less connective tissue in their body to support the fat in our bodies as we age. As a result, the collagen that fills in between this connective tissue lessens and the fat in your body begins to sag causing cellulite. Female hormones also play a major role.

When it comes to men, according to an Easter Virginian Medical School study, only 10% of all men are prone to cellulite. When it comes to men I guess we have to suffer with male pattern baldness, erectile dysfunction and beer bellies. I hope that made some of my female readers a little happier.

Worsens With Age

Fact – Sorry, this is another sad but true moment. As women age they begin to have more and more hormone changes. This starts at puberty and moves on to menopause. When women get older they stop producing estrogen which is the main hormone produced by women. When women produce estrogen they are also helping with the natural blood flow through their body. With this decreased blood flow in the body they are also subject to the decreased production of collagen.

When women start to loose collagen their eyes and face begin to sag, the fat under their arms begin to sag and sway and their butts and thighs begin to show signs of bumps and bulges. I bet the male readers are starting to feel a little better now after the erectile dysfunction comment.

As we get older and older the signs of cellulitis become more and more pronounced. This is why the elderly look wrinkled. As stated before it begins to show itself around the eyes and lips. From there the rest of the face is affected continuing down through the rest of the body.

Genetics Plays a Role

Fact or Myth – Genetics plays a role in whether or not you get cellulite?

Fact – Sorry again ladies. The fact is that if members of your family have cellulite then you will more than likely have cellulite too. Go and look at your mother, grandmother, aunts and female cousins. As they get older what are the effects of cellulite on their bodies? For those of you who are interested in learning the severity of cellulite on your body there is a test that you can purchase that will test how severe your body will be affected by cellulite.

One word of warning before you go out and purchase this test. Almost all women at some point in their lifetime will have to deal with cellulite and the effects of cellulite on your body. With this being said knowing how severe you can be or will be affected by this condition is just a fad idea. The price of this test is very high and will not allow you to prevent the onset of cellulitis. So save your money.

Being Fit and Trim

Fact or Myth – Cellulite only happens to people who are overweight or out of shape?

Myth – This is a myth. In fact, you can be as fit and as trim as humanly possible and still suffer from cellulite. Cellulite has nothing to do with how much fat someone has in their body. Cellulite is caused by the lack of or breakdown of collagen underlying the skin and nothing else. When you have low amounts of perfect collagen in your body the skin moves away from your body causing the condition.

Exercise Can Help

Fact or Myth – Exercise will help reduce the appearance of fat from cellulite?

Fact: Exercise will help with the appearance of cellulite. Now let me make this clear, exercise will not remove cellulite from your body on a permanent basis. Like I stated, fat doesn’t cause cellulite it is only shown through the skin because of the lack of collagen in the body. If you exercise and remove the fat in your body the condition caused by cellulite is lessened since there is less fat to be shown.

Some of the exercises that you can work on are squats, running, jogging, leg exercise, arm exercise and other general exercise that will work on the parts of the body that show the fat more prominently. So keep your body fat and weight in check and the amount of cellulite that is shown will go down but the condition will remain.

By Dr. Ryan Shelton

Dr. Ryan Shelton, N.D.
Zenith Labs®



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