Lipoedema is a long-term (chronic) condition typically involving an abnormal build-up of fat cells in the legs, thighs and buttocks.
The condition occurs almost exclusively in women, although there have been rare cases reported in men.
Signs and symptoms
In lipoedema, the legs become enlarged from the ankles up to the hips. Both legs are usually enlarged at the same time and to the same extent. The feet are not affected and this creates a ‘bracelet’ effect or ‘band-like’ appearance just above the ankles. The hands are not usually affected either, although the arms occasionally can be. The degree of enlargement caused by lipoedema differs between individuals with the condition and it can gradually worsen over time.
As well as becoming enlarged, affected areas of the body may:
- feel soft, 'doughy' and cold
- be tender to touch
- bruise easily
- ache or feel painful
- have small broken veins under the skin
The condition can progress to cause fluid retention (lymphoedema) in the affected legs.
Seeking medical advice - You should see your GP if you have symptoms of lipoedema so they can try to identify the cause.
One of the ways to treat Lipodema is the wearing of compression garments, as the skin can bruise easily and be painful we recommend class 1 or preventive compression. If you can't see a suitable product here please contact us for details of other products which may be suitable.