Water Retention or Cellulite?

Arms of a female spreading an orange peel on the outer part of her hip below her panties

Let’s clarify these two imperfections, often confused with each other

When the skin takes on an orange peel appearance, one of the questions that arise spontaneously is “is it water retention or cellulite?”
Although the aesthetic result is very similar, they are different imperfections, which, however, in some way, have to do with each other, so much create a lot of confusion.

The questions and doubts on this topic are always very many and unfortunately, there is little clarity and little information about it.
It must therefore be stated that cellulite and water retention are not the same thing: one is an alteration of the adipose tissue, and the other is caused by a stagnation of liquids.

The two conditions may depend on each other but must be treated differently, relying only on experts in the sector.
The difficulty is to find professionals who understand the difference between the two conditions and who are therefore able to identify the best therapy to counter the problem.

There are remedies to eliminate cellulite and water retention, but before understanding what they are, let’s see what the difference is between the two.

Girl shows holding and pushing the skin of the legs cellulite, orange peel. Treatment and disposal of excess weight, the deposition of subcutaneous fat tissue

Water retention

Water retention is a condition where the body retains fluids and toxins in the tissues, particularly in the spaces between the cells of the dermis.
The problem, therefore, is that the lymphatic system has difficulty in draining liquids and this leads to swelling, typical of water retention.

In general, it is a localized imperfection, for example on the legs or buttocks, but there are cases in which it can affect different parts of the body.
The causes can be many: from the menstrual cycle to atmospheric conditions to lifestyle. The important thing is to identify one and then act accordingly.

The causes of water retention

We must say that water retention can be caused both by external factors and by malfunctions of the lymphatic system.

As we said before, in fact, the problem occurs when the cells begin to retain fluids causing swelling, pain, weight gain, or joint stiffness.
It is therefore understood that suffering from retention is not only an aesthetic concern but also a health concern.
That’s why it’s important to understand the trigger, here are the main ones:

  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Taking hormonal contraceptives
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Excessively hot environment
  • Standing for too long
  • Some independent pathologies
  • Hormonal fluctuations, then menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or menopause
  • Malfunction of blood circulation
  • Overweight
  • Abuse of smoking or alcohol
  • Clothing: clothes that are too tight or heels that are too high

Most of the time the trigger is the lifestyle: bad habits and little movement. On the other hand, it is one of the simplest factors to prevent and solve.

Cellulite mark problem on leg, Fat woman with excessive belly pinching thigh skin, Overweight body test.

How to eliminate water retention

To prevent or treat water retention it is essential to take care of your body, especially from the inside.

Constant hydration is very important, preferably away from meals, and an active and lively lifestyle.
Another aspect that should not be underestimated is nutrition: you need to integrate a lot of fruit and vegetables and limit the consumption of too salty foods.

As you can imagine, therefore, water retention is not a serious problem to worry about.
However, the aesthetic question remains a problem for many women but by following a healthy lifestyle and some precautions you can certainly limit the problem until it disappears.


We talk about cellulite when there is inflammation of the subcutaneous tissue that causes, also in this case, a swelling and the famous orange peel skin.
Cellulite can affect different areas of the body, such as the legs, arms, or buttocks, and it is very difficult to fight only with sports and proper nutrition.

The causes are attributable to a set of genetic, hormonal, and vascular factors that spare almost no one.
It is thought that this imperfection is only a female problem, but it is not so: many men suffer from this condition, which does not distinguish between size and age.
In addition, cellulite is often associated with excess fat but in reality, it does not work that way: surely excess fat can affect the appearance of the depressions, but cellulite is not necessarily synonymous with fat.

Slim middle-aged caucasian woman in lingerie demonstrating hip skin with age changes while standing sideways on a light background, cropped. Authentic woman beauty concept

How to fight cellulite

Eliminating cellulite is a demanding but not impossible challenge.
To counter or prevent this state of inflammation, the first step is certainly to lead a healthy and active lifestyle, but when this is not enough there are valid solutions. As we have seen, nutrition and physical activity play a key role however, if there are genetic predispositions or if you follow treatments that, unfortunately, affect the orange peel skin, then reinforcements are needed.

Fortunately, thanks to the technologies developed by aesthetic medicine it is possible to significantly reduce the inflammatory state of the hypodermis, the layer of the skin in which the problem arises, and return to having an appearance less marked by annoying holes.
Let’s try to understand what these treatments are and how they work.

Coolwaves wave

Onda Coolwaves is the medical-aesthetic revolution for body remodeling.
It is a machine capable of acting in a targeted and safe way on various imperfections, one of which is cellulite.

The treatment is quick and painless: the surgeon places specific handpieces on the area to be treated which begin to create deep localized heating able to counteract the inflammatory state.
At the same time, Onda protects the skin through controlled cooling, which makes the treatment safe for the skin and surrounding tissues.

The great strength is that the treatment can be done at any time of the year and during any stage of life.
Usually, 3 or 4 sessions are enough to appreciate the results but if you want an optimized effect, you can combine lymphatic drainage massages or Tecartherapy sessions.

Fat female body with cellulite, fatty hips and buttocks, gray background, studio shot


Sculpsure is another state-of-the-art technology that can melt localized fat in just 25 minutes.
This technology, acting mainly on the fat, could be the most suitable solution for patients with a significant inflammatory state.
In these cases, cellulite could also be caused by excess fat, which tends to accumulate between the cells.

Sculpsure, therefore, is a good starting point to facilitate localized weight loss, which must in any case be based on a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.

However, to obtain truly optimal results it is necessary to rely on a specialist who knows, first of all, to identify the causes of water retention or cellulite and, afterward, to plan an ad hoc path aimed at minimizing orange peel skin.


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