What can I do to prevent or lessen my cellulite?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

If you want to prevent or diminish cellulite—pockets of fat that sit just below the surface of your skin—avoid gaining weight, or lose weight if you are overweight. Also, exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet. The best exercise for getting rid of unwanted cellulite combines aerobic exercise, such as running or dancing, with strength training, such as lifting weights and doing sit-ups and squats.

Excess sun exposure to the thigh region can accelerate the loss of elasticity and resiliency of the skin. As a result, remember it is never too early to wear sun-block, especially when heading out to the beach or park and exposing one’s thighs and buttocks to the harmful rays of the sun. Cyclical weight shifts—the gain or loss of significant amounts of weight—taxes the skin in the area and can further contribute to the chronicity of the problem.

Until truly effective treatments become available, I think the best way to address cellulite makes use of an effective fitness program, one that deals specifically with the muscles in the front and back of the thighs, as well as the buttocks. Squats, lunges, and focused weight training can be very helpful by improving the muscle tone in the area, reducing the amount of fat concentrated locally, and improving the overall circulation to the skin and deeper tissues. I found it interesting to learn that these specific thigh and buttock muscle groups are often not built up in a balanced and effective fashion by aerobic exercise, so running, biking or roller-blading isn’t enough to make a difference. Sure, these activities are great for overall health maintenance, weight control and cardiovascular fitness, but specific, focused exercises will be necessary to get the cellulite treatment results you deserve.

So a trip to the plastic surgeon or laser specialist shouldn’t be your first step in seeking ways to improve the appearance of cellulite. Ask at your gym for a recommendation for a trainer who can get you started on the kind of work-outs that will make the most difference and be even more effective in the long-term than a short-term surgical fix might be.

Dr. Roshini C. Rajapaksa, MD

Certain creams can help lessen the appearance of cellulite, says Internist Dr. Roshini Raj. To learn which ingredients to look for on cellulite cream labels, watch this video.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.