What Causes Cellulite on Your Butt?

ikicsiicsi/iStock/Getty Images

One of the most embarrassing parts of wearing a bikini or speedo is the appearance of unsightly cellulite. The fatty dimpling of the skin around the thighs and buttocks leaves many women feeling self-conscious. Although few men will develop cellulite, 80 to 90 percent of adult women will due to genetics, weight gain, stress and aging.


Cellulite forms as fat cells push against the surface of the skin in opposition of fibrous connective cords that attempt to keep the skin pulled down against the body. Genetics can influence the effects of skin elasticity, the tendency to gain weight and basic skin structure, all of which are associated with the appearance of cellulite.

Paul Lazar, M.D., a professor of clinical dermatology at Northwestern University Medical School, says that women may be more prone to cellulite than men, because genetically their bodies tend to possess greater fat concentrations and less muscle than men’s bodies. In fact, regardless of how skinny you are, you may develop the appearance of cellulite merely because of how much fat you have in relation to muscle, according to the Georgia Health Info website.

Weight Gain

As fat concentrations beneath the skin’s surface begin to rise, they enhance the appearance of cellulite along the body. The lower abdomen, breasts and arms all display signs of cellulite, but fat gathers most obviously around the thighs and buttocks. As a result, cellulite becomes more associated with this region than any other, and most gains in fat may first appear around your butt and upper legs.


General wear and tear on your body from environmental factors, such as diets high in salt that increase fluid retention, coffee and cigarettes that lower blood circulation and changes to hormone levels due to stress, can all effect the development of cellulite. Focus on relaxation, exercise and healthier behaviors to reduce the appearance of dimples on your buttocks. Although you cannot prevent cellulite, you can free the body of stress to preserve elastin and collagen in your skin and reduce your risks of weight gain.


As the body gets older, skin cells lose their elastic quality. Consequently, your skin begins to hang more in certain regions, allowing fluids and fats to gather in pockets, such as under around the eyes and around the buttocks. You may not be able to prevent growing older, but you can maintain a healthy lifestyle to protect your skin’s elasticity and tautness. Also, losing weight may help to prevent increases in dimpling associated with weight gain, especially if you tone up the regions around your buttocks and thighs.