Cellulite is the dimpled, orange peel–like skin that you most often notice around the hips and thighs. But it can be found in other areas too, including your stomach. Cellulite isn’t limited to certain body types. In fact, it can strike people of all shapes, sizes, and weights.
Although cellulite on its own doesn’t pose any health risks, many people would prefer to get rid of it — or at least make it less noticeable. But, trying to do so can be very frustrating, and treatment options can be misleading.
This article will explore the options for dealing with cellulite on your stomach, and what causes it in the first place.
Cellulite’s distinctive bumpy skin texture is caused by fatty tissue deep in the skin that presses up against connective tissue.
Cellulite can occur on any part of your body, including your stomach. It is most common in areas that have more fatty tissue.
Although cellulite can affect both men and women, it is a lot more common in women. In fact, research has shown that it may affect
Another factor is age. As your skin gets thinner with age, cellulite becomes more noticeable. But, most people start to notice cellulite by the time they’re in their 30s.
Family history plays a role, too. If your parents had cellulite, you have a higher chance of having it, too, and you may notice it at a younger age.
Other causes of cellulite on your stomach include:
- Pregnancy. Some women develop stomach cellulite during and after pregnancy due to increased weight gain in a short amount of time, as well as high estrogen levels.
- Your diet. A diet lacking antioxidant-rich plant foods and water can cause your skin to lose collagen and appear dehydrated. Both factors may make cellulite more noticeable over time.
- Inflammation. It’s thought that
inflammationmay have an effect on connective tissue which, in turn, may lead to cellulite.
- Weight fluctuations. Extreme weight loss and weight gain can cause your skin to become stretched, which can lead to an accumulation of larger fat cells.
Because cellulite is composed of fat, the best way to deal with it is by losing fat cells. One of the most effective ways to do this is through exercise.
Spot treatments such as crunches won’t get rid of cellulite on your stomach. According to the American Council on Exercise, the most effective way to target cellulite is to do fat-burning cardiovascular exercises every day, combined with two to three strength-training routines per week.
Consider a mix of cardio exercises, and try to increase the intensity of your cardio workouts as you get stronger. The following exercises may help burn body fat and minimize the appearance of cellulite on your stomach over time:
- brisk walking, jogging, or running, either outdoors or on a treadmill
- working out on an elliptical machine
- bike riding (stationary or outdoors)
Certain abdominal strength-training exercises can also build muscle and reduce fat, but only when combined with a healthy diet and cardiovascular routine. Ask your trainer about the following movements:
- crunches, on the floor or with a stability ball
- dead bug lifts
- fire hydrant leg lifts
- side planks
- bicycle crunches
The key is to start off at your own fitness level and to build up the intensity of your workouts over time. Remember that even athletes can have cellulite. The goal here is to reduce body fat and to minimize the appearance of cellulite. But exercise won’t get rid of cellulite for good.
Check in with your doctor to see if these workouts are a good fit for you, especially if you’ve recently had a baby or if you’re undergoing treatment for any medical conditions.
Despite the marketing and advertising claims of some products, research has shown that
While there are ways to reduce the dimpled, uneven skin texture, you will likely have to repeat any treatment to maintain the results over the long term.
Let’s take a closer look at the most common treatments for minimizing the appearance of cellulite on the stomach.
Acoustic wave therapy
According to a small
AWT consists of a series of “shock waves” that help disrupt the tissues that make up cellulite. In turn, the high-energy waves may also boost collagen and elasticity.
Used for a variety of skin conditions, laser treatment may also help diminish the appearance of cellulite. It works by improving blood flow in the affected area. This may help to tighten your skin so it looks less dimply.
Laser treatments for cellulite may help decrease the amount of fatty tissue in the treated area, and thicken your skin over time.
A professional massage not only helps to ease tight muscles, it can also improve lymphatic drainage and blood circulation throughout your body.
By removing toxins and boosting blood flow, massage may help to temporarily improve the skin’s appearance and make cellulite less noticeable.
The downside is that the stomach area isn’t usually included in a massage because of its sensitivity. You can still gain some of the same benefits of a massage by using a foam roller at home on your stomach area.
Vacuum-assisted tissue release
With this procedure, a dermatologist uses a device with small blades to cut through bands of cellulite to release them. This allows the tissue to move upward, which can help diminish the appearance of the dimpled skin.
According to a small
Called Cellfina, this procedure involves needles that are inserted under your skin to break up the tough bands that cause cellulite.
Although this procedure can diminish cellulite for up to 3 years, the FDA has only cleared the use of it on the thighs and buttocks.
Infused with essential oils and creams, heated body wraps are often used in spas to help smooth out and shrink fat cells.
Although you may lose some weight with a body wrap, you’ll likely only lose water weight, not fat. As such, the effects of any improvement in your cellulite may only last a few days.
Although it’s hard to prevent cellulite, there may be ways to limit it. Consider the following steps:
- Stay well hydrated. Try to drink at least 8 cups of water a day to help flush toxins from your body.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Water in produce can help you stay hydrated, too.
- Cut back on processed and high-sugar foods. These foods can cause toxins to build up in your body.
- Lose weight or stay at a healthy weight. Carrying less weight can help fat cells shrink and make cellulite less noticeable.
Although you can’t get rid of cellulite, there are treatments that can make cellulite less noticeable, at least temporarily. Exercising regularly, staying well hydrated, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a healthy diet can be helpful, too.
If you want to minimize your cellulite, talk to your doctor about the safest and most effective ways to do so.