Cellulite and Infectious Cellulite: see causes and treatments


What is Cellulite

Cellulite, also known as ginoid lipodystrophy, refers to the accumulation of fat in the fibrous tissue of the subcutaneous region. These fat pockets cause irregularities, such as ripples and contractions in the hypodermis (the deepest layer of the skin, where the adipose and fibrous tissues are found), because while pushing the skin upwards, the fibrous tissue pulls downwards. The pits appear more frequently in the buttocks, thighs, abdomen, neck and arms, giving the skin an “orange peel” appearance.

The structure of the fibers of the female connective tissue favors the appearance of cellulite, so its occurrence is greater in women. It is not characterized as a disease, as it is a natural way of storing fat by the body, but it is the target of aesthetic concerns, which can lead to emotional distress related to its appearance.

Infectious Cellulite

Unlike gynoid lipodystrophy, infectious cellulitis is a serious disease that can be lethal. It refers to a contamination of the subcutaneous tissue, which can be caused by several bacteria, the most common being streptococcus. It occurs when there is a “gateway” on the skin, such as lesions or wounds, and its frequency is greater in the legs.

Infectious cellulitis can affect men and women of any age, especially when they have low immunity. The inflamed area becomes red, tender and warm. If not treated properly, the infection can spread throughout the body and lead to death.

Cellulite Classifications

There are several forms of classification for cellulite, the most well-known:

By the degree of intensity of the grooves

  • Grade 1: Appears only if there is a compression of the region in question;
  • Grade 2: Some apparent holes even without pressing the area;
  • Grade 3: More visible and deeper;
  • Grade 4: Intense in quantity and depth of holes, which can cause discomfort and even hurt.

Cellulite Severity Scale

Method created by Brazilian dermatologists Doris Hexsel, Taciana Dal Forno and Camile Hexsel, is already recognized internationally.

This method takes into account:

  • Degrees of the old classification;
  • Appearance of elevated spots (clinical characteristics);
  • Number and depth of depressions;
  • Manifestation of flaccidity;
  • Manifestation of elevated injuries.

Each element is scored from 0 to 3 and the sum of that score results in the classification of cellulite:

  • Light: 1 to 5 stitches;
  • Moderate: 6 to 10 points;
  • Severe: 11 to 15 points.

The note allows the chosen treatment to be more effective and accurate.

Causes of Cellulite

Cellulite results mainly from genetic influence, but there are other factors that can intensify it. Sedentary lifestyle, smoking, low fluid intake and the use of very tight clothes are considered relevant factors for their occurrence, as they promote poor blood circulation, which causes greater retention of water, toxins and fat in the cells. The more accumulated fat there is, the more difficult the blood circulation becomes, thus forming a vicious circle.

The stress hormone promotes fluid retention in the body, facilitating the appearance of cellulite. Thus, poor sleep quality, which contributes to the release of this hormone, is also considered a cause. Other hormones also influence the existence of ginoid lipodystrophy, such as contraceptives and hormone replenishers (estrogen and progesterone ). In addition, hormonal dysregulation caused by menopause and pregnancy can become considerable causes.

It is not necessary to be overweight so that there is no ideal balance between body fat and muscle mass. However, it is common for this layer of fat to be greater in overweight patients. Therefore, inadequate nutrition is also a considerable element in the formation of cellulite.

Groups and risk factors

According to the Brazilian Society of Dermatology, eight out of ten women have some form or degree of cellulite. In men, the presence of holes is more rare. This happens because, while in the female adipose tissue the fibers are perpendicular to the skin, connecting it to the deeper muscle tissue, in men the filaments are thicker and more resistant and are connected to the musculature in an oblique way.

In addition, estrogen, a hormone produced by women, intensifies fluid retention and sends fat directly to the buttocks and thighs. In contrast, testosterone, produced by the male organism, sends fat directly to the abdomen, in addition to causing them to gain more muscle mass than fat mass. Therefore, in general, only overweight men have cellulite.

Some external factors can also influence the manifestation of imperfections, such as unbalanced diet, physical inactivity, irregular production or ingestion of hormones, habits such as smoking and consuming a lot of alcohol.


Common on the thighs, buttocks, abdomen, neck, arms and breasts, cellulite, in addition to the visible obstructions, can cause:

  • Sensitivity;
  • Redness;
  • Ache;
  • Bright, swollen and uneven skin;
  • Emergence of lumps;
  • In more extreme cases, the skin may harden and have lumps.


Even without bringing clinical consequences, cellulite brings great aesthetic concern, which can cause situations of embarrassment due to dissatisfaction with the body. The diagnostic test is physical and performed by a dermatologist or a special physiotherapist.

Cellulite Treatment

Although there is no cure for cellulite, there are practices that help eliminate it or, at the very least, soften its appearance. There are several types of treatment. Check out what they are:

Lymphatic drainage

It is a therapeutic massage that takes the fluids and toxins from the body into the vessels of the lymphatic system, which collect these fluids and filter them into the bloodstream to then be eliminated by the urine. Thus, lymphatic drainage prevents cellulite, eliminates the swelling of the body and provides an improvement in circulation. It can be done manually or with a device.

Mechanical Lymphatic Drainage

Also known as pressotherapy, it is a mechanical compression system controlled by a computer. It has 5 separate chambers that are placed around the patient’s limb and operated with the use of inflation pumps.

Radio frequency

Procedure performed by a device that emits 30,000 to 40,000 volts through electromagnetic radiation, which warms the deepest layers of the skin, melting fat and emitting a current that generates the remodeling of the collagen fiber. It acts directly on the inflammation of adipose tissue, acting as a lymphatic drainage by reducing toxins in the body and improving the appearance of cellulite.


The reaction combines three levels of radio frequency, in addition to a suction system. Attenuates cellulite, improves blood circulation and minimizes sagging and localized fat. The device regulates the intensity and depth of the radio frequency in the skin, reaching deep layers of fat.


The fibrous divisions between the fat compartments below the skin are known to pull the skin downwards, so that they cause depressions. The subcision consists of the rupture of these divisions through the introduction of a scalpel needle under the skin. In some cases, segmentation of blood vessels is also performed. As a consequence, the formation of hematomas occurs, which stimulate the formation of a new tissue, redistributing the fat. When necessary, anesthesia is used.


It is a traditional technique that aspirates fat through cannulas (tubes that can be made of plastic, metal or rubber), through the introduction into the patient’s body. It is not suitable for people with very flaccid skin, as its efficiency depends on the elasticity of the skin.


Also known as intradermotherapy, it is an aesthetic treatment carried out through applications of enzymes and medications on the skin and muscles, which vary according to the patient’s need. In the case of cellulite, the treatment is done with L-carnitine.


Gas is injected under the skin, improving tissue oxygenation and cell circulation. It should be performed with a physiotherapist specialized in dermatofunctional. It is efficient to soften cellulite as it reduces swelling and increases local circulation.


As in carboxytherapy, it promotes the detachment of the skin and fat layer, improving blood circulation and decreasing fluid retention through suction of the epidermis.

Ultrasonic Cavitation

Producing a liposuction effect, but without surgery, it is an ultrasonic technology that promotes the fragmentation of adipose tissue, being then absorbed by the lymphatic system and excreted by the body.

Ultrasound with Lipolytics

It differs from ultrasonic cavitation by using lipolytics (fat-reducing substances) together with ultrasound.


It is a combination of ultrasound with polarized electrical stimuli and great penetration. Its function is to introduce specific active principles to accelerate the lymphatic system, reducing fat cells and toxins, as well as cellulite, flaccidity and localized fat.


It provides the breakdown of the fat beams, and then lymphatic drainage is necessary to eliminate that fat.

Liporeduct Plaster

It is a natural and effective technique that reduces sagging, the measures and the incidence of cellulite. Unlike plaster bandages, a method well known among women, lip-reducing plaster has active ingredients that penetrate tissues, a determining factor to obtain the desired result. The main substances used in this method are:

  • Caffeine: usually mixed with seaweed, collagen, horse chestnut and ginkgo biloba, break down localized fat;
  • Green clay: drain toxins from the body;
  • Acerola: has a large amount of vitamin C, is an antioxidant and helps in cell regeneration and natural collagen formation;
  • Black mud: eliminates toxins through the osmotic process and sweating, regenerates tissues and stimulates blood circulation;
  • Camphor and menthol: decongest tissues and decrease fluid retention;
  • Elastin: combats sagging and improves skin vitality;
  • Grape seed oil: revitalizes and prevents stretch marks;
  • Pineapple: astringent, anti-inflammatory, cellular regenerator and stimulant of the lymphatic system.

Read more: Stretch marks: what causes, how to avoid and treatments


It aims to burn localized fats by placing a device on the surface of the skin, which causes a cooling of the region. Thus, it is also indicated to have a lymphatic drainage after the session.

Russian Current

Provides electrical stimuli through strategically placed electrodes. These impulses generate involuntary muscle contractions, promoting increased muscle strength and volume.

Acoustic Wave Therapy

It is a non-invasive treatment performed with the D-Actor device, which produces acoustic waves that penetrate the subcutaneous layer of the skin and break fat cells, reduce measurements and increase blood and lymph flow.

Modeling Massage

Although it does not reduce the accumulated bags below the dermis, it stimulates blood circulation and redistributes fat cells, causing symptoms to decrease.


Anti-cellulite products, if not combined with other allies, are unlikely to achieve a significant result. The most common assets used are:

  • Gotu kola ;
  • Caffeine;
  • Green tea extract;
  • Ginkgo biloba ;
  • Amarashape;
  • Iodotrat;
  • Remodel;
  • Liporeductyl;
  • Adipol.

The effectiveness of these creams depends on the concentration, the degree of cellulite and the assets. These are usually combined with elements that fight sagging, such as elastin and collagen. It is also important to pay attention to the way the product goes, which should be through an energetic and long-lasting massage with movements from the bottom up and, preferably, circular.

Cellulite Medications

The most used remedies for treatment are:

  • Xiaflex;
  • Bio Arct;
  • In Cellless Leather;
  • Enzyfor;
  • Amoxicillin + Potassium Clavulanate ;
  • Quivering ;
  • Cefanaxil ;
  • Clarithromycin ;
  • Clindamin C;
  • Clavulin;
  • Clindamicina;
  • Levofloxacin ;
  • Novamox 2 X.

It is essential to consult a doctor to know which medication is most suitable.


NEVER self-medicate or stop using a medication without first consulting a doctor. Only he will be able to tell which medication, dosage and duration of treatment is the most suitable for his specific case. The information contained on this site is only intended to inform, not in any way intended to replace the guidance of a specialist or serve as a recommendation for any type of treatment. Always follow the instructions on the package insert and, if symptoms persist, seek medical or pharmaceutical advice.

Living together

Some habits can be adopted to reduce cellulite, prevent more punctures from appearing and keep the results for longer.


It is preferable that the diet is directed and accompanied by a nutritionist, but there are some habits that can alleviate the symptoms of gynoid lipodystrophy, such as:

  • Reduce salt intake by substituting aromatic herbs: Decrease fluid retention;
  • 2 liters of water per day: Eliminates toxins and keeps the skin elastic and healthy;
  • Coconut water: Eliminates toxins;
  • – Green tea and Leather Hat tea: diuretics;
  • Asian spark: diuretic and neutralizes collagen production;
  • Dark green leaves (arugula and spinach): Improve circulation and are antioxidants;
  • Gelatin, strawberry, blackberry and raspberry: they have collagen.
  • Red fruits: They have vitamins C and A, which in addition to being antioxidants, strengthen blood vessels;
  • Pineapple: Rich in bromelain, which acts as an anti-inflammatory;
  • Apple: Difficult to absorb fats;
  • Pear: antioxidant;
  • Oilseeds (nuts, chestnuts and almonds): They are antioxidants and have selenium, which among its numerous benefits, favor muscle mass gain and weight loss;
  • Salmon, sardines and tuna: Rich in omega 3, which reduces the body’s carbohydrate levels.
  • Soy: Has isoflavone, which regulates a woman’s estrogen levels.
  • Algae: Contains iodine, which prevents hormonal fluctuations;
  • Horse chestnut: It has anti-inflammatory and vasoactive properties, in addition to containing escin, a powerful substance in the fight against cellulite. It can be consumed either by ingesting 250 to 300 mg of its dry extract, 1 to 2 times a day with meals, or through your tea. To do this, put 1 teaspoon of its dry leaves in a cup of boiling water and keep it resting for 10 minutes. Then strain.

Therefore, one should drink a lot of fluids and eat diuretic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods. Consuming lots of vegetables and fruits, foods with collagen, protein , fiber, potassium and vitamin A, C and E also helps.

In addition, you should avoid:

  • Heavy foods at night, because as the biological rhythm is less intense, less calories are spent, and thus, excesses become a fat deposit;
  • Canned or preserved foods;
  • Excessive alcohol consumption;
  • Oil (replace with olive oil);
  • Very fatty foods.

Physical exercises

The practice of physical exercises is important in reducing cellulite, because in addition to burning fat stored in the hypodermic region, it improves blood circulation, preventing further storage of toxins.

Focus on exercises that target fat loss (aerobic), and also those that promote muscle strengthening, such as:

  • Walk;
  • Race;
  • Swimming;
  • Water aerobics;
  • Yoga;
  • Pilates;
  • Exercise bike;
  • Bodybuilding.

In addition to these customs, massaging the affected area with vegetable loofah or mixing two tablespoons of oil with a tablespoon of coffee powder, avoiding smoking and sitting for a long time, also improves circulation.


In the same way that it is necessary to have a balanced diet, rich in fiber, diuretic foods, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, and the practice of physical exercises to alleviate the symptoms of cellulite, these attitudes contribute a lot so that they do not appear or intensify.

Cellulite, despite not being considered a disease, generates aesthetic dissatisfaction in most women. So, share this article so that more people know about its causes and treatments and can thus reduce their symptoms.