If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your thighs, you might be wondering if there’s a medical reason. Many women suffer from uneven and lumpy skin on their buttocks, hips, and thighs. This orange peel appearance could be because of cellulite. However, there is another more serious problem that can cause uneven fat buildup in this area. Lipedema is a less well-known condition. Nevertheless, 11 percent of women suffer from it. No wonder, then, that so many people are now asking, “Lipedema vs cellulite, which do I have?”

What Is Cellulite?

Cellulite is a condition that many women are all-too-familiar with. Fat accumulating directly underneath the skin causes the condition. The fat cells, then, pull the skin downward. This produces a dimpled, orange peel-like appearance.

Some factors that worsen, or trigger, cellulite include: 

  • Hormones. The main female hormone, estrogen, prompts the thighs and hips to store fat. These are areas where cellulite is most commonly seen. Around 80 percent to 90 percent of women suffer from cellulite. Men, meanwhile, are rarely affected.
  • Poor diet. People who eat a poor diet consume many toxins. These become stored in the body fat and, over time, change the fat cells’ appearance.
  • Smoking. Smoking also overloads the body with toxins that the fat stores.
  • Genetics. Some people have a genetic predisposition to developing cellulite.
  • Weight gain. When someone gains weight, cellulite can increase.
  • Sedentary lifestyles. If you are inactive and don’t exercise, cellulite can develop. This can be because of poor circulation, lymphatic drainage, and muscle tone.
  • Pregnancy. During pregnancy, women put on weight and their hormones fluctuate. This can cause cellulite.
  • Aging. As we get older, the skin becomes less elastic. This means it will pull inward more easily toward the fat cells.

What Is Lipedema?

Lipedema is often mistaken for cellulite. However, it is a different condition that involves the abnormal accumulation of fat in the buttocks, thighs, and legs. Weight loss doesn’t reduce lipedema and often sufferers have much slimmer upper bodies. 

Lipedema is different from cellulite because it:

  • Bruises easily.
  • Feels cold and soft.
  • Feels tender and painful when pressed.
  • Often has small broken veins under the skin.
  • Has a ring of fat above the foot.

Treating Both Conditions

Both cellulite and lipedema are hard to treat. There are many treatments for cellulite although not all are equally effective. Some topical lotions and creams can reduce cellulite’s appearance. Also, working out may reduce the appearance of cellulite while body brushing can detoxify the fat cells. By making lifestyle changes, such as stopping smoking, taking more exercise, and eating healthily, you may improve your appearance.

Lipedema, on the other hand, is much harder to improve. Exercise and diet won’t help to eradicate the problem. Doctors usually recommend compression therapy and massage as a conservative measure. The only way to truly treat the problem effectively, however, is liposuction.

Which Condition Do I Have?

Lipedema and cellulite are very different. As lipedema progresses, it should become clear that you suffer from It. Cellulite sufferers see dimpling of the buttocks, hips, and thighs. This has an appearance similar to an orange peel. Cellulite will also respond well if you make lifestyle and dietary changes. Although cellulite may be embarrassing, it won’t be painful or affect your overall health.

Abnormal fat cells cause lipedema. This makes it very hard to treat. It won’t respond to lifestyle or dietary changes. It may also limit your mobility and will be painful when touched. In its later stages, it can cause problems with your lymphatic system. This can result in even more medical issues.

Treating Both Problems

Whether you have cellulite or lipedema, liposuction can be a helpful treatment. In the hands of a skilled cosmetic surgeon experienced in the field, liposuction can produce very sculpted results. By permanently removing the fat cells that cause cellulite and lipedema, lipo restores a smooth and taut skin appearance.

Not every surgeon can produce excellent results from lower body liposuction, however. It requires specific expertise to be able to evenly remove fat from around the leg area. This is because of the natural curves of the leg that make it difficult to achieve a smooth result. Here at Artistic Lipo and Plastic Surgery, we’re proud to have an expert in the industry on our team. Dr. Su is leading the way with his innovative active lipo technique. This means he can achieve a wonderfully smooth, sculpted, and complete look. 

Lipedema vs cellulite is a common dilemma. However, if you contact Artlipo today, we can help to improve the appearance of your lower body. Whether you’re a cellulite or lipedema sufferer, Dr. Su can help to restore your self-confidence. He can help you to achieve the thighs, buttocks, and legs that you’ve been dreaming of.