Is There a Way to Prevent Cellulite?

Would I need to exercise more, eat differently, get more massages to get less cellulite? I am just seeing the first signs of thigh cellulite. NOT good!

Doctor Answers 22

No, there isn't any way to prevent cellulite, but...

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No, there isn’t any way to prevent cellulite, but I can’t stress enough that the time has come to get rid of the shame!

Nearly 85% of post-pubescent women develop cellulite, and if it bothers you or is affecting your self esteem, consult with a cosmetic dermatologist or medical professional who can help you explore treatment options.


New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.3 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Preventing cellulite from developing: Ways to keep cellulite off.

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I disagree with the professional panel on this question. Sure, there are definitely ways to prevent the accumulation of cellulite on your body and minimize the appearance of cellulite.

Cellulite can occur because of a variety of causes, including genetics, hormones, and skin resiliency. Although genetics and hormonal effects cannot be changed, the issue of skin resiliency and the depth of fibrous septa can be altered. This can lead to identifiable and quantifiable changes in the appearance of cellulite.

One solution may be in the way of prevention. Studies from France have conclusively proven that stimulation of the fat alpha and beta receptors with deep tissue stimulation via an Endermologie type unit will improve cellulite. This should be done preventatively vs. after its already formed. .

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

There are things to help with cellulite

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Cellulite is a common term referring to skin surface irregularities and dimpling of skin, predominantly in the thighs and buttocks (think cottage cheese thighs). Causes for the appearance have been blamed on differences in connective tissue structure and on adipose tissue biochemistry. Research has confirmed that women get cellulite more often than men. Some physicians have attributed the defect as secondary to enlargement in fat cells in the superficial tissue below the skin, resulting in compartmental bulging between the connective tissue. Since the well-developed and organized septa that make up the connective tissue do not give way to the increased volume in a limited space, this becomes transmitted as surface irregularity between the deeper pockets of fat.

To date, no significant differences in biochemistry, physiology, or blood and/or lymph flow of the tissue and structure organization in cellulite tissue have been demonstrated scientifically.

However heredity can be a factor.

Here are things you can do to help:

  1. Avoid things that will damage your skin (sun, tobacco products).
  2. Avoid weight loss and weight gain.

Be aware that 80% of women can get significant cellulite as they age and it can become a problem as young as 18.

Chasing creams, laser, mesotherapy, massage, etc. tend to leave patients unsatisfied and significantly poorer. There's no great answer for fixing it once it occurs.

I hope this helps.

You already know how to minimize cellulite, but here are a few tips

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Cellulite has two primary causes: fat irregularities in the superficial skin and fat in the deep tissues.
Fat in the deep tissues can be globular, since fat has irregular septations that can be broken with liposculpture techniques. Many patients interpret fat around the thigh and buttock areas as being cellulite, when in fact it is just fat. So some hope there. Exercise and a healthy diet reduce fat, as does liposuction/liposculpture.
Fat in the superficial tissues causing irregularities on the surface is normal to have in the teen years and beyond, and non currently treatable. Some patients have found temporary relief with Endermologie, probably because of the temporary swelling it causes. Some creams may also cause temporary swelling and may minimally reduce the appearance of cellulite. Weight loss and diet also reduce the superficial cellulite.
Lasers, superficial liposuction, radiofrequency treatments have been disappointing because of the damage they may cause to the subdermal plexus, the blood vessels below the skin that nourish the skin. Destroying the subdermal plexus causes the skin to die or change color permanently. It can also cause very significant irregularities that are permanent and sometimes deforming.
One thing patients can do is to keep fit. People who have cellulite are genetically programmed to have it at a certain weight. Some patients who are genetically "gifted" and do not exhibit cellulite despite being heavy and not exercising. However, these patients often have the "apple" configuration with fat depositions in the abdomen, an unhealthier condition compared to their cellulite-suffering cohort. By reducing the body fat percentage through a sustained and effective exercise program with lots of cardio, and by restricting intake of fatty and carbohydrate rich foods, patients may reduce in a meaningful way their cellulite. This is in fact better than any treatment any doctor can offer (and cheaper and healthier as well).

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

There is no way to prevent cellulite. Even the most fit...

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There is no way to prevent cellulite. Even the most fit women over 13 will have an 80% incidence of cellulite. Fortunately, there are a number of topical creams that improve the appearance in addition to a number of treatments including the Triactive, Velasmooth, Endermologie, and more.

Mitchel P. Goldman, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Cellulite is not inevitable.

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There may be no way to prevent cellulite if hormonal and hereditary factors make you genetically predisposed. However, there are ways to tip the odds in your favor. Those ways include detoxification to remove the food and environmental toxins that impede metabolism and the natural elimination of waste. By extension, heavy hydration and a healthy diet (low in fat, high in fiber) combined with regular exercise may help you avoid the fibrous network that traps fat cells and squeezes them to produce surface skin that is lax, pallid, and dimpled.

Hal Michael Bass, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon

How to prevent cellulite

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Cellulite can occur because of a variety of causes, including hormones and genetics. There are some treatments that may help reduce the appearance of cellulite including ThermiTight and Cellfina, however, in terms of prevention, even the most fit person is prone to cellulite. Continue
a regular exercise routine and eating a healthy diet and consider your options for reducing the appearance!

Douglas Wu, MD
San Diego Dermatologist
4.9 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Cellulite Not Preventable, But It Can Be Treated

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Cellulite, a condition some studies show affects over 90% of women and roughly 10% of men, occurs as the body ages and collagen production decreases. As the collagen in certain areas (such as the thighs and buttocks) diminishes, the fat cells begin to protrude and ultimately display themselves as the bumpy fat known as cellulite. Unfortunately there is no direct method for completely preventing cellulite; however, the interaction between genetics, hormones, and skin healthiness means that exercise, proper diet, and avoiding skin damaging activities (smoking, failing to protect against the sun, etc.) can help.

There are many topical products that claim to improve the appearance of cellulite, although, due to the structure of collagen, they do not address the underlying cause and tend to be minimally helpful at best. Collagen is composed of many contacted bands that look like a picket fence (particularly in women) under a microscope. These bands must be released in order to reduce cellulite and achieve a smoother appearance in the desired areas. Cellfina is an FDA approved procedure with 2 years of clearance (the longest of any device currently available) that effectively releases these bands through the use of a tiny blade. We have been performing Cellfina treatments for multiple years now and our patients have seen extremely positive results, especially when compared to less (and even more) invasive options. As in all cosmetic procedures, please meet with your physician to evaluate the area and establish a personalized treatment plan for reducing the appearance of your cellulite.

Stanley Kovak, MD
Oak Brook Physician
4.3 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Cellulite dimples do not improve with diet or exercise normally

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If one has cellulite, gaining weight can make it look worse, but losing weight often does not help make it better. Avoid fad diets and pills that are guaranteed to help. They may harm you depending on what the source of these non FDA approved pills are.

There are some treatments that may help reduce the appearance of celluilte long term, including ThermiTight, Cellfina and possibly Thermi250, although long term followup studies still need to be done to investigate the latter.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Preventing cellulite: Cellfina Platinum treatment

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Cellulite affects up to 85% of adult women and can be extremely difficult to correct. There is no good know prevention but early treatments can help

Many treatments are ineffective or take multiple sessions to complete with very temporary results. Now, new body shaping technology, Cellfina, is about to change that.

Cellfina is the newest, most effective FDA approved technology available for treating cellulite. This one-time, minimally invasive procedure takes only 45 minutes to perform, but the results last for a minimum of two years. Cellfina has the longest lasting results of any current cellulite treatment. Its approval rate is over 93% on RealSelf

Used on moderate to severe cellulite of the buttock and thighs, Cellfina works by treating the rubber-band-like connective tissue that causes cellulite. When these “rubber bands” under the skin are cut, the fat trapped underneath in dimples “snaps” back into place, creating a full, smooth appearance.

To prevent progression and for treatment we perform Cellfina Platinum which includes  Thermismooth and Vela 3  for the best long term outcome


Results can be seen in as little as three days post-op. Most patients report some soreness, tenderness, and bruising, which should resolve within a week. 90% of patients reported no bruising after one month. To ensure the best results, a compressive garment should be worn for 2 weeks post-treatment.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.