Updated: 2018, Aug 11

Hormonal Factors for Cellulite – What Every Woman Should Know?

By - Reviewed by CHD Team
Hormonal Factors for Cellulite

Hormones can play a huge role in the development of cellulite. Although science does not know exactly how it works, the presence of hormonal anomalies increase the chances of someone developing cellulite. Rapid changes in hormone levels during menopause or pregnancy also increase the formation of cellulite.

How do Hormones Affect Cellulite?

One of the main hormones responsible is estrogen. Roughly 90 percent of cellulite cases occur in women. Out of these cases, most of the women involved are post-pubescent. Medical science believes that this occurs after the rapid hormone changes of puberty. As the body adjusts to new estrogen levels, the body begins to adapt with physical changes. The woman develops curves and additional fat throughout her body. Within this fat, cellulite may be forming.

The main way that hormones affect cellulite is through the formation of new fat cells. It may also be due to decreased blood circulation. If fat cells cannot be accessed for energy by the body, they will remain where they are and bunch up. When the connective fibers between the skin and muscles are also weakened, this fat can push through. To the naked eye, it will look like dimpled skin and potentially have an orange peel like texture.

Which Types of Hormone Affect Cellulite?

Two main hormones have been linked to cellulite:

  • Estrogen
  • Cortisol


Estrogen can lead to cellulite by increasing the amount of fat in the body. Even though it is considered a female hormone, men with androgen deficiencies can develop an estrogen imbalance. In these instances, the male may develop cellulite as well.


The second major hormone involved in cellulite creation is cortisol. This chemical is produced by the body when someone is under stress. As cortisol is released, it starts to tell the body to store fat. In addition, cortisol can change how fat is metabolized and cause damage to the body. Higher levels of cortisol are associated with increased risk of hypertension, chronic heart problems and overall poor health. When all of these factors are combined, it can lead to a situation where cellulite is extremely likely. Overactive adrenal glands can also increase cortisol levels even when someone is not under undue stress.

How can someone Control a Hormonal Imbalance?

How Can Someone Control a Hormonal Imbalance

Cellulite typically becomes worse during menstruation, breast feeding, menopause or pregnancy. Likewise, estrogen therapy or birth control can cause hormone changes in the body. Insulin and thyroid hormones have also been linked to cellulite. Individuals who suffer from these problems will have to be proactive in finding solutions.

The easiest way to correct a cortisol imbalance is to reduce stress. If it is possible to reduce workplace stressors or the person’s workload, it can help. Unfortunately, this is not possible for many people. When changing jobs or work habits is impossible, there are other methods of lowering stress. Many people find that listening to music or exercising relaxes them. Other popular stress reduction techniques include meditating, doing yoga or reading a book. Anything that allows the mind to unwind and brings enjoyment can help lower cortisol levels.

Managing estrogen is often more difficult for women. It is naturally produced within the fat cells in the body. Due to this, someone can reduce their estrogen by losing weight. Certain chemicals and oral contraceptives can artificially change estrogen levels. Life events like a pregnancy or breastfeeding can also change how the body naturally produces hormones. If losing weight and exercising do not lower hormone levels, individuals can always visit their doctor. Sometimes excess hormones are caused by underlying medical conditions. When this is the case, these medical problems should be diagnosed and addressed with the help of a qualified medical practitioner.

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