Cellulite: causes, symptoms, remedies

Cellulite is a progressive degeneration of the subcutaneous tissue that is highlighted, on the outside, with the characteristic “orange peel” skin.

What is it

Cellulite is a progressive degeneration of the subcutaneous tissue. In practice, we talk about cellulite when fat cells are “immersed” in an excessive amount of liquid, a situation that causes the formation of a fibrous tissue, accompanied by pain.

On the outside the skin takes on the characteristic “orange peel” appearance.

It can occur as early as adolescence, when the first hormonal changes begin. After menopause it is usually less frequent.

It generally affects legs, ankles, buttocks, arms and shoulders.


At the base of fluid stagnation there is an alteration of microcirculation in the subcutaneous capillaries.

It can be due to genetic factors, improper diet, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, hormonal causes or the use of drugs.

Shoes that are too high and tight clothes and shoes can also contribute to the onset of the disorder.

Most common symptoms

There are 4 different stages of cellulite, each characterized by different symptoms.

Stage of cellulite Symptoms
1 Swelling and heaviness
2 The skin appears pale, reddened and less elastic; the capillaries dilate and branch and, squeezing the skin between the fingers, the classic orange peel appearance appears
3-4 The wrinkled appearance is accentuated, hematomas appear, and the affected area becomes increasingly hard and painful.


Among the possible complications are stretch marks, microvarices and varicose veins.

In addition, the so-called generalized cellulite, associated with obesity, can cause circulatory difficulties in the legs.


A healthy and balanced lifestyle, with regular physical activity and a diet rich in fiber, fruits and vegetables, helps to improve the disorder. It is also good to drink plenty of water and draining infusions, such as those based on dandelionpineapple and melilot.

For treatment, several preparations are available containing active ingredients that improve the condition of the microcirculation and help eliminate excess fluid.

These are tablets, gels, sprays or creams based on extracts of cranberry, horse chestnut, ruscus, witch hazel or melilot, centella, ginko.

Massages (aesthetic and lymphatic drainage), pressotherapy, endermology and electrostimulation help to improve the appearance of cellulite.

In addition, elastic stockings at low pressure can also control water retention.

When to consult your doctor

Some treatments, such as various forms of liposuction, liposculpture and lipolysis, ultrasound and oxygen-ozone therapy, require medical attention.

If, then, cellulite is accompanied or aggravated by other diseases, such as hypothyroidism, estroprogestin insufficiency and morbid obesity, it is essential to consult with your doctor who will evaluate the most suitable therapy.

Joycelyn Elders is the author and creator of EmpowerEssence, a health and wellness blog. Elders is a respected public health advocate and pediatrician dedicated to promoting general health and well-being.

The blog covers a wide range of topics related to health and wellness, with articles organized into several categories.

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