The bumpy, dimpled appearance of cellulite is caused by fat deposits pushing against the connective tissue under the skin. This can happen anywhere on the body but is most common in the thighs, buttocks, and arms (1). While it’s not a serious medical condition, cellulite can be unsightly and difficult to get rid of. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about what causes cellulite and how to treat it. In reality, there is no certain way to prevent or get rid of cellulite completely. However, there are some things you can do to help minimize the appearance of cellulite. Read on to learn about the causes of cellulite on arms, as well as some treatment and prevention tips.
Why Do I Have Cellulite On My Arms?
Some of the most common causes of cellulite include:
- Age. As you get older, your skin becomes thinner and less elastic. This can make cellulite more visible.
- Hormonal changes. Fluctuations in hormones can lead to the development of cellulite.
- Weight gain. Extra weight can make cellulite more noticeable.
- Genetics. If your family has a history of cellulite, you may be more likely to develop it yourself.
- Lifestyle choices. Smoking and a sedentary lifestyle can both contribute to the development of cellulite.
How To Get Rid Of Cellulite On My Arms?
There are several treatments available that can help improve the appearance of cellulite. However, it’s important to remember that there is no cure for cellulite.
These treatments can help temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite, but the results are not permanent.
Some of the most common treatments for cellulite include:
Cellulite is simply an accumulation of fat cells. It can happen to anyone, no matter their weight or size. Even supermodels and celebrities have cellulite! It’s why some people appear skinny with cellulite on their arms.
One of the main causes of cellulite is a sedentary lifestyle. If you don’t move your body and muscles enough, the appearance of cellulite is more likely to be visible.
Exercise helps reduce cellulite in several ways (6). First, it helps burn fat. When you exercise, you create an energy deficit in your body. This means that you are burning more calories than you are consuming (8).
As a result, your body will start to burn stored fat for energy. This includes the fat cells that make up cellulite.
Second, exercise helps build muscle (10). When you have more muscle, your skin will appear tighter and smoother. This can help camouflage the appearance of cellulite.
Finally, exercise helps improve circulation. Poor circulation can contribute to the development of cellulite. Exercise helps increase blood flow and lymphatic drainage (7). This can help reduce the appearance of cellulite.
So which exercises can you do to target arm fat?
- Cardiovascular exercises. These target overall fat loss that can reduce the appearance of cellulite. Aim for 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise most days of the week.
- Strength-training exercises. These help build muscle and improve circulation. Incorporate strength-training exercises into your routine 2 to 3 times per week. Focus on compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups at once, e.g., squats, lunges, and presses.
- Targeted exercises. Some specific exercises can help tone the muscles in your arms and reduce the appearance of cellulite. They are commonly referred to as isolated exercises.
Some examples of targeted arm exercises include:
- Bicep curls
- Tricep kickbacks
- Overhead presses
What you eat can also affect the appearance of cellulite. A diet that is high in fat and calories can contribute to weight gain, which can make cellulite more visible.
On the other hand, a healthy diet that is low in fat and calories can help reduce the appearance of cellulite. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein can help improve the appearance of your skin and reduce cellulite (5).
Several foods can help to reduce the appearance of cellulite. These foods work by improving circulation and promoting lymphatic drainage.
Some of the best foods for cellulite include:
- Water. Water is essential for proper circulation. It helps flush out toxins and keep the skin hydrated.
- Cinnamon. Cinnamon is a spice that helps increase circulation. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the appearance of cellulite (9).
- Cayenne pepper. Cayenne pepper has thermogenic properties that can help burn fat (4).
- Ginger. Ginger is a spice that helps increase circulation and promote lymphatic drainage (9).
- Parsley. Parsley is a herb that contains chlorophyll (12). Chlorophyll helps detoxify the body and improve circulation.
- Turmeric. Turmeric is a spice that has anti-inflammatory properties (9). It can help reduce the appearance of cellulite.
- Bright, colorful fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants can help improve circulation and reduce the appearance of cellulite. These include berries, cherries, citrus fruits, leafy greens, and tomatoes.
- Oily fish. Oily fish like salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids that help keep skin supple and hydrated (17). They can also help reduce inflammation.
- Nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain fiber, which can help promote circulation.
If you’re overweight, you may consider creating a calorie deficit through diet.
Here’s how it works:
- Calorie Deficit. You burn more calories than you consume.
- Thermogenesis. The process of burning calories to produce heat.
When you create a calorie deficit, your body has to find a way to make up for the lost energy. One way it does is by tapping into stored fat reserves. As your body burns fat for energy, the fat cells that make up cellulite are reduced.
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3. Topical Treatments
Many topical treatments can help improve the appearance of cellulite. These treatments work by breaking down the fat cells that make up cellulite.
Some of the most common topical treatments include:
- Creams and lotions. These treatments are applied to the skin. They work by breaking down the fat cells and promoting circulation.
- Gels and patches. These treatments are also applied to the skin. They work by delivering active ingredients directly to cellulite.
The main ingredient in most cellulite treatments is caffeine. Caffeine is a potent fat burner that helps break down the fat cells and promote circulation (13). This can help reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Other ingredients that are often used in cellulite treatments include retinoids, green tea extract, and vitamin C.
Retinoids are a type of vitamin A that helps improve the appearance of skin by increasing collagen production (15).
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps brighten skin and even out tone (18).
Massage is another popular cellulite treatment. It helps increase blood flow and lymphatic drainage, which can help reduce the appearance of cellulite (11).
Several different types of massage can be used to treat cellulite, including:
- Endermologie. This is a type of mechanical massage that uses suction and rolling to stimulate the skin.
- Cellulaze. This is a laser treatment that helps break down the fat cells and promote circulation.
- Body wraps. This is a type of treatment that involves wrapping the body in a cloth or plastic wrap. This helps increase circulation and promote lymphatic drainage.
5. Dermatological Treatments
It can take weeks or months to see changes in the appearance of cellulite from home remedies and lifestyle changes. If you want to see more immediate results, several dermatological treatments can help.
These treatments work by breaking down the fat cells that make up cellulite.
Some of the most common treatments include (19):
- Lasers. Lasers are a popular cellulite treatment. They work by breaking down the fat cells and promoting circulation.
- Radiofrequency. Radiofrequency is another popular cellulite treatment. It works by heating the tissue and breaking down the fat cells.
- Ultrasound. Ultrasound is a newer treatment for cellulite. It works by delivering sound waves to the tissue and breaking down the fat cells.
These treatments can be effective, but they are often expensive. They may also require multiple treatments to see results.
How To Avoid Cellulite?
There are some things you can do to prevent cellulite from forming, including:
Maintaining A Healthy Weight
Most people don’t realize that being overweight or obese can contribute to the development of cellulite (6). If you’re carrying around extra weight, it’s important to lose it. Not only will this help reduce the appearance of cellulite, but it will also improve your overall health.
If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your skin– and your health in general.
Avoiding Caffeine And Alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol are both diuretics, which means they cause your body to lose water (16). When your body is dehydrated, it’s more likely to develop cellulite. So, if you want to avoid cellulite, limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol.
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Dry Brushing For Lymphatic Drainage
Dry brushing is a simple, at-home treatment that can help improve the appearance of cellulite. It’s thought to help promote lymphatic drainage, which can reduce the appearance of cellulite.
To dry the brush, you’ll need a natural bristle brush. Start at your feet and brush upwards towards your heart. Do this for 3 to 5 minutes before showering.
Wearing Compression Clothing
Compression clothing is designed to apply pressure to your skin. This helps to promote circulation and lymphatic drainage (3). Wearing compression clothing can help to reduce the appearance of cellulite.
You can find compression clothing at most sporting goods stores. Look for items that are specifically designed to help with cellulite, such as shorts or leggings.
The Bottom Line
Cellulite on arms is a common problem, but there are things you can do to prevent it. These include maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol.
The key takeaway is that an active lifestyle and healthy dietary habits are the best way to avoid developing cellulite and improve the appearance of existing ones. If you’re looking for more immediate results, there are several dermatological treatments that can help.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Cellulite: a cosmetic or systemic issue? Contemporary views on the etiopathogenesis of cellulite (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Cigarettes Smoking and Skin: A Comparison Study of the Biophysical Properties of Skin in Smokers and Non-Smokers (2019, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Compression Garments for Medical Therapy and Sports (2018, mdpi.com)
- Dietary capsaicin and its anti-obesity potency: from mechanism to clinical implications (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Does a Controlled Diet Improve Cellulite? (openaccesspub.org)
- Effect of weight loss on cellulite: gynoid lypodystrophy (2006, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Exercise and the Lymphatic System (2012, link.springer.com)
- Fat loss depends on energy deficit only, independently of the method for weight loss (2007, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Herbs and Spices- Biomarkers of Intake Based on Human Intervention Studies – A Systematic Review (2019, biomedcentral.com)
- Increasing Lean Mass and Strength: A Comparison of High Frequency Strength Training to Lower Frequency Strength Training (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Objective and subjective reduction of cellulite volume using a localized vibrational massage device in a 24‐week randomized intra‐individual single‐blind regression study (2019, onlinelibrary.wiley.com)
- Parsley: a review of ethnopharmacology, phytochemistry and biological activities (2013, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Physiological process of fat loss (2019, springeropen.com)
- Protective Mechanisms of Green Tea Polyphenols in Skin (2012, hindawi.com)
- Retinoids: active molecules influencing skin structure formation in cosmetic and dermatological treatments (2019, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The diuretic effects of alcohol and caffeine and total water intake misclassification (1999, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The Potential Uses of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Dermatology: A Review (2020, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health (2017, mdpi.com)
- Treatment for cellulite (2019, sciencedirect.com)