Cellulite and stretch marks are both more likely to occur in those who are overweight or obese, although this is not always the case. Even those who are thin can develop cellulite and sometimes stretch marks as well. Both conditions may appear worse in those who are overweight, however, and drastic weight gain can worsen each of them further.
Stretch marks are a form of scarred tissue which are generally caused by the rapid loss or gain of weight. When the layers of fat beneath skin become larger or smaller rapidly, the skin doesn’t have enough time to stretch properly. This leaves areas of scarred tissue where the skin was forced to stretch too quickly. They often dip inward and have a blue, red, pink, or white color.
Cellulite is also more common in those who gain weight quickly, although it occurs in up to 90% of women at some point in their lives. It is caused by fatty buildup in the subcutaneous layer beneath the skin. This buildup causes the skin to appear bumpy or cratered.
Both cellulite and stretch marks are more prominent in those who are moderately to severely overweight. Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly may help stave off both conditions, but this doesn’t work for everyone. Pregnancy, for instance, often causes stretch marks in the stomach, thighs, and breasts even in women who remain a healthy weight.
Women are more prone to getting cellulite and stretch marks, but they can occur in men as well. Hormonal factors can play a role in the development of both, and women are more likely to store fat around the hips and thighs where both conditions occur more often. These can be contributing factors in the development of cellulite and stretch marks in women of any weight.
In most cases both conditions are hard to get rid of. Multiple over the counter treatments are available for cellulite as well as stretch mark removal, but there is little scientific evidence to indicate that they actually work. Laser treatments have been shown to be beneficial in the removal or fading of stretch marks. Coffee grounds and certain other topical treatments may temporarily make cellulite less noticeable.
Those who are overweight may reduce the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks over time by losing excess fat and maintaining a health lifestyle. Stretch marks generally fade naturally over time, and sometimes they become barely noticeable. Both conditions run in families, so women whose mothers had stretch marks or cellulite are more likely to suffer from these conditions themselves.