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What is the difference between fat and cellulite?

Updated on September 13, 2016

There is a very fine difference between fat and cellulite. Fat and cellulite are closely interrelated.

Fat is present in the food that we eat. The primary function of fat is to provide energy for the proper functioning of the body system. Fat is made up of molecules called triglycerides. It can be stored in the body for later use.

The fat layer is bound to the muscles beneath by collagen fibers. When we consume more fat than needed the extra fat is stored under the skin as subcutaneous fat.

What is cellulite?

Cellulite is nothing but visible fat deposits in the body. They appear as bulges, dimples or raised ripples on the skin.

Cellulite is formed when -

  • fat cells enlarge and bulge out as lumps on the skin.


  • the enlarged fat cells push against the collagen fibers, and the fibers are stretched beyond the limit. Due to this, the fat cells bulge out as thickened ripples on the skin.

Facts on cellulite

Both cellulite and fat are one and the same. They are both fat cells.

Cellulite affects both men and women.

Cellulite forms only in certain parts of the body –thigh, buttocks, abdomen and breasts.

Cellulite cannot be eliminated, but the appearance of the skin can be smoothed.

Once a fat cell is formed it cannot be eliminated from the body. A fat cell can be flattened out by proper diet and exercising.

Causes of cellulite

Cellulite forms due to the following -

  • intake of food rich in carbohydrates and fat
  • intake of high amount of salty food
  • fluid retention in the body
  • hormonal changes
  • aging
  • pregnancy

The difference between fat and cellulite

The primary difference between fat cells and cellulite is that fat cells are not visible on the skin and are smooth and uniform. On the other hand, cellulite is enlarged fat cells that are lumpy and are visible as dimples, raised bumps or ripples on the skin.

Formation of cellulite
Formation of cellulite | Source

How to prevent the formation of cellulite

Cellulite formation can be prevented by -

  • Eating a healthy balanced diet.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Stopping smoking and consumption of alcohol.
  • Losing weight

Treatments for cellulite

Cellulite can easily be reduced by exercising and reducing weight. Regular massages have also proven to reduce cellulite, as massages drain extra fluids and toxins that help to smooth out the skin.

Liposuction draws out the fat deposits from the body that results in a uniform skin. Liposuction is not a permanent cure.

Cellulaze is another treatment approved by the FDA (source Cellulase targets the fibrous bands beneath the skin and prevents them from pulling against the skin; this makes the skin look smooth in appearance. Cellulaze also induces the production of new collagen fibers. The newly formed collagen fibers improve the appearance and texture of the skin.



Beat cellulite with exercise


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    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Joyfulcrown thank you , don't we all!

    • Joyfulcrown profile image

      Joyfulcrown 3 years ago

      Interesting article. I wish I could make cellulite disappear like magic.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      teaches12345 thank you for your visit and share.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Good information to know and women would benefit from the advice. Sharing with others.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      HappyMikeWritter thank you.

    • HappyMikeWritter profile image

      HappyMikeWritter 4 years ago

      I am soo happy I am a man but your article should be read by everyone :-)

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      rajan jolly yes cellulite is definitely not good. Thank you for the vote and share.

      Kathryn Stratford yes, I wish so too! Thank you for stopping by, have a great weekend.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      This is interesting. Oh, how I wish I could turn back time and eat healthier during my 20s. I have always been good with exercising, and for the past 5 years have had a healthy diet. But the damage has already been done, and no matter how little I weigh, the cellulite is there to stay.

      Thanks for sharing this useful information, and have a wonderful weekend.

      ~ Kathryn

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Interesting and useful information. Cellulite is definitely not good to look at.

      Voted up, useful and shared.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Nell Rose cellulite is our enemy and we have to be up in arms against it!! Thank you for stopping by.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      I think we all dislike cellulite, so this is fascinating! lol!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Mrs.BrownsParlour thank you.

    • MrsBrownsParlour profile image

      Lurana Brown 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Interesting and encouraging!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      tillsontitan thank you and am glad my hub throws light on what is cellulite. As you say people should know about cellulite. Thank you for your votes too.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      We all hear about cellulite but when it comes right down to it, not all of us know exactly what it is. This is a great educational piece anyone over 25 should read. Isn't the saying "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"? Well, this hub is certainly worth a pound!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      sid76 thank you for stopping by.

      Jackie Lynnley you are right we all really want to avoid cellulite. Thank you.

      rasta1 thank you and am glad you came to know about the facts.

      always exploring thank you for reading and yes cellulite is really dreadful.

      radhikasree yes, cellulite causes scars. Thank you for the votes.

    • radhikasree profile image

      Radhika Sreekanth 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks for sharing this great information. Cellulite may cause scars in our body if they burst out rapidly.

      Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Very informative hub about the dreadful cellulite. Thank you......

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      I have never thought that cellulite was fat. I thought it was the hardening of the skin. It is a good thing you clarified this in such a simple format.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Very good write, something we all want to avoid for sure. Certainly ugly.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Vinaya thank you for reading and am glad you found my article comprehensive.

      billybuc thank you, you are right it is important to know about cellulite.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very useful my friend. Middle aged people everywhere should read this.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal


      this is the most comprehensive article I have ever read about fat/cellulite. Thanks for sharing your expertise.