Cellulite When Pregnant: Causes, Treatment & Prevention

Cellulite During Pregnancy – Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Rashmi Sriram (Dermatologist)
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If you are pregnant, be ready to witness the physical changes that your body will undergo. Of course, your weight will increase, but weight gain is common during pregnancy. However, if this weight gain is cellulite, you must pay attention to it. You must be wondering what’s cellulite and what role it plays during pregnancy. As pregnancy transforms a woman’s body, the appearance of cellulite can be an unexpected change. It is good to learn about the factors contributing to this phenomenon and effective strategies for managing it. Read on to learn what is cellulite, how it is caused, and what can be done to treat cellulite in pregnancy.

What is Cellulite?

If you stand in front of a mirror, you will notice that certain portions of your body will have fat deposits around them. The major body parts where pockets of fat deposition are bum, hips, thighs, tummy, upper arms, and knees. These fat deposits are termed cellulite. These deposits can sometimes stretch and break down, causing these regions to become dimpled. It’s important to remember that more cellulite during pregnancy is normal; some women may gain weight and cellulite, while others may not.

What Causes Cellulite in Pregnancy?

The reasons for increased cellulite while pregnant tend to vary and may include anything from poor lifestyle choices to numerous internal body factors.

1. Lifestyle

Performing basic exercises during pregnancy is essential to keep your health in check and for the health of your baby too. Staying away from junk foods and managing your cravings is also necessary at this stage. However, failure to do all of these can cause cellulite to form in your body.

2. Water Retention

During pregnancy, a woman’s body has a higher tendency of storing an excessive volume of bodily fluids. This leads to water retention in various regions of the body. These indirectly work towards creating cellulite pockets, which can become visible later on.

3. Effects  of Hormones

Hormones play an important role in cellulite development. Estrogen, insulin, noradrenaline, thyroid hormones and prolactin are part of the cellulite production process.

 4. Increase in Weight

A healthy weight gain is expected in pregnant women with time. However, excessive weight gain during pregnancy increases the chances of cellulite formation in later years.

5. Age

The elasticity of the skin reduces with age, which increases the chance of cellulite.

6. Genetic Factors

Cellulite during pregnancy could be related to genetic variations that affect collagen production and skin elasticity. These genetic factors may make some individuals more prone to cellulite development during pregnancy. However, it’s essential to emphasise that cellulite’s exact causes are still not fully understood and can vary significantly from person to person.

Medical Treatment for Cellulite

Taking care of cellulite and pregnancy is possible by using specific medical treatments. These tend to reduce cellulite quickly, and you can get your pre-pregnancy body back sooner. However, these treatments are not recommended for pregnant women, and it’s best to stay away from them.

Cellulite Treatments That Pregnant Women Should Avoid

A bunch of cellulite treatment methods are considered harmful for the baby as well as the mother and can have long-term effects as well.

1. Oral Intake of Medicines

One of the potent ways to remove cellulite is to burn it by taking certain stimulants. This is how most oral medications for cellulite work, by making use of caffeine and other substances that help reduce the cellulite. However, taking these medicines during pregnancy are not recommended.

2. Laser or Thermal Treatment Techniques

Some of the most popular treatment techniques to reduce cellulite involve making use of laser beams or other methods that increase the temperature of the body region to get rid of cellulite. These might be quite effective, but risky during pregnancy.

Cellulite cream

How to Get Rid of Cellulite Naturally When Pregnant?

There are a bunch of natural ways to take care of cellulite. These are safer than any other treatment techniques and pose minimal risk to the pregnancy. These measures can be tried at home to get rid of cellulite during pregnancy:

  • One of the best ways to take care of cellulite manifested in the body is by exercising regularly. It is the healthiest and the safest way to take care of it. However, it is usually recommended that pregnant women not perform strenuous exercise.
  • Following a healthy diet can also take care of cellulite during pregnancy.
  • One natural remedy to help reduce cellulite during pregnancy is dry brushing. Dry brushing involves gently brushing the skin with a soft-bristle brush upward towards the heart. This practice is believed to help stimulate lymphatic drainage, exfoliate the skin, and improve blood circulation, potentially reducing the appearance of cellulite over time.


Here are some tips that you can follow to avoid cellulite:

  • The presence of omega-3 fatty acids in the body helps bind cellulite effectively.  Include omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. You can include flax seeds in your meals.
  • Befriend carbohydrates during pregnancy. Eat as required; don’t overdo it.
  • Water retention is another problem that can make cellulite worse. Eating lots of vegetables, berries, and seafood can reduce the chances of that occurring cellulite.
  • Eat healthy foods and start exercising.

How Can You Prevent Cellulite?

If you’re wondering how to prevent cellulite during pregnancy, there are several easy ways that you can try to stay fit and healthy.

1. Reduce Salt Intake

Avoid adding salt to your food since it is acidic and dehydrates your body, making cellulite removal difficult.

2. Drink Water

Staying hydrated flushes toxins from the skin and keeps cellulite formation to a minimum.

A woman drinking water

3. Exercise

Light cardio exercises, like walking and low-impact aerobics, can tone your body.  The sweat produced while exercising will flush out the toxins from your body and cleanse your skin. Exercising also tones the muscle tissues and reduces the cellulite.

4. Weight Control

It is a must to keep your weight in check whether you are pregnant or not. 

5. Eat Healthy Foods

Eat healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating healthy foods will flush out toxins from your body, which leads to cellulite formation.

 6. Avoid Fatty Foods

Junk food, meat, bakery products, cheese, etc., can increase cellulite content in your body. Avoid them as much as you can.

Reducing Cellulite Post-Pregnancy

Once you recover from your delivery, you can start with cellulite treatment after a couple of weeks. Avoid topical creams since your baby would be breastfeeding. Follow a strict diet and exercise regularly to reduce cellulite. The cellulite post-pregnancy can negatively impact your self-confidence, but if you switch to a healthy lifestyle, cellulite formation will reduce over time. You must also remember that cellulite during pregnancy is normal and quite common, and you must consult a dermatologist before taking steps to deal with the cellulite formation in your body.

Here are some practical ways to address post-pregnancy cellulite:

  • Maintain a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins to support skin health and reduce fat accumulation.
  • Proper hydration is essential for skin elasticity, which can help reduce the appearance of cellulite.
  •  Incorporate cardiovascular and strength training exercises to tone muscles and burn excess fat.
  • Continue dry brushing to stimulate circulation and lymphatic drainage, reducing cellulite.
  •  Professional or self-massage with cellulite-reducing creams or oils can improve skin texture.
  • To target cellulite, look for creams or serums containing ingredients like caffeine, retinol, or collagen.
  • Consider wearing compression garments to improve blood flow and reduce swelling.
  • Some spa treatments like seaweed or clay body wraps may temporarily improve the appearance of cellulite.
  •  Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, as these habits can worsen cellulite.
  • Gradual post-pregnancy weight loss can reduce the strain on connective tissues.
  •  If desired, consult a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon in severe cases for non-invasive or surgical treatments like laser therapy or liposuction.


1. Can You Have Anti-Cellulite Massage in Pregnancy?

It’s generally safe to have anti-cellulite massages during pregnancy, but it’s essential to consult with your healthcare provider first. They can advise you on the best approach and ensure that the massage technique is gentle and suitable for your specific pregnancy condition.

2. Does Cellulite Disappear After Pregnancy?

Postpartum cellulite does not typically disappear entirely after pregnancy. However, the appearance of cellulite may diminish as your body returns to its pre-pregnancy state, especially if you adopt a healthy lifestyle, including diet and exercise. Some women may find that the cellulite becomes less noticeable over time.

Please note that individual experiences with cellulite can vary, and it’s essential to prioritise your health and well-being during and after pregnancy. Discussing your concerns about cellulite or any other post-pregnancy issues with your healthcare provider is advisable for personalised guidance.


1. Gabriel. A, Chan. V, et.al.; Cellulite: Current Understanding and Treatment; PubMed Central; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10324940/; June 2023

2. Cellulite; Cleveland Clinic; https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17694-cellulite

3. CELLULITE TREATMENTS: WHAT REALLY WORKS?; American Academy of Dermatology Association; https://www.aad.org/public/cosmetic/fat-removal/cellulite-treatments-what-really-works

4. Massick. S; Is it possible to get rid of cellulite?; The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center; https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/blog/is-it-possible-to-get-rid-of-cellulite; May 2019

5. Pianez. L. R, Custodio. F. S, Guidi. R. M; Effectiveness of carboxytherapy in the treatment of cellulite in healthy women: a pilot study; Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol.; PubMed Central;  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5001663/; August 2022

Also Read: 

Skin Changes in Pregnancy
Skin Darkening while Pregnant
Changes in Face during Pregnancy

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