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What Are Cankles?

If you’re asking, “what are canklesyou may wonder whether you’re suffering from this all-too-common problem. Unfortunately, for many women, cankles are the bane of their lives. A blend of the words “calves” and “ankles,” cankles is an unflattering term for poorly defined lower legs. Essentially, if your calves and ankles merge together, you have cankles. Cankles present as lower legs with little or no shape or definition. The ideal leg has a clearly narrow ankle and then a curve outward for the calf. Women with cankles lack that slimness around the ankle and defined curve of the calf. Instead, they may have a somewhat tubular or column-like appearance to their legs.

How Can I Disguise Cankles?

It’s possible to disguise cankles by wearing long skirts and pants and avoiding strappy shoes. In some cases, women choose to emphasize the areas of their bodies they are happy with. They do this to distract attention away from their ankles and calves. For example, they will wear bold jewelry or low-cut tops to draw the eyes upward and away from the legs. While this can help in the short-term, disguising cankles doesn’t really address the problem.

Also Read: How to Tell if you Have Cankles

Are Cankles Medically Dangerous?

In most cases, cankles aren’t medically dangerous. Sometimes, swelling of the ankles can occur due to medical conditions. For example, some heart and kidney problems result in swollen ankles. Ankles also often swell during pregnancy, but they will typically go down again after giving birth. Lipedema is one medical cause of large ankles. This poorly understood medical problem results in column-like lower limbs. If you believe your cankles are due to a medical cause, it’s essential to seek medical advice immediately.

Cankles can be a genetic problem due to the genetic distribution of fat. Physically they aren’t usually dangerous, but they can cause psychological and emotional distress. If you’re constantly worrying about the appearance of your legs, you can suffer from low self-esteem. In the long term, that can result in anxiety and depression that can become debilitating.

Are Cankles Caused by Obesity?

It’s true that obesity can cause cankles. If you’re obese in general, you could have cankles as well. That is because, in most cases, when someone is obese, they have excess fat all over their body. Their calves and ankles will, therefore, also have excess fat. If your cankles are due to obesity, diet and exercise may help. Reducing weight overall should slim the calves and ankles too. It’s important to be aware, though, that many women with cankles are not obese. Some may even be underweight. Dieting and exercising in such cases won’t help. In fact, it could make cankles look worse since other areas of the body will be extremely slim.

Trying to lose weight if you’re already at a healthy BMI can also lead to malnutrition and associated medical problems.

Are My Cankles a Symptom of Lipedema?

Lipedema is a poorly understood medical condition caused by diseased fat. It causes a disproportionate appearance, with the lower body being larger than the upper body. The diseased fat tends to accumulate in the legs, hips, and buttocks. Over time, the disease progresses and worsens, and there is no cure. There are, however, treatments that can help.
While cankles can indicate that you suffer from lipedema, usually there are other signs too. Some symptoms of lipedema include:

  • A disproportionate lower body
  • Column-like legs
  • Easy bruising of the legs
  • Pain and tenderness when touching the affected areas
  • Legs that remain large even after dieting and exercising
  • An unusual texture to the fat in the affected areas, with nodules under the skin.

If you think you have lipedema, it’s vital to seek advice from a specialist quickly. Getting early treatment is the best course of action to ensure the best possible outcome.

Which Exercises Can Address Cankles?

There are a number of exercises that may help to address cankles. Some of the most common include:

  • Calf raises
  • Jumping rope
  • Lunges
  • Plie squats

These exercises help build stronger calf muscles, which may help create more leg definition. In many cases, though, these exercises fail to create much improvement. If your calves are bulky, exercising the calf muscle may make your legs look worse. Surgery may be the best solution.

Is There a Surgical Treatment for Cankles?

Several surgical treatments are available for cankles, but not all are equally safe or effective. Some of the procedures you can choose from include:

  • Selective neurectomy – cutting the nerves to the calf muscle to cause muscle atrophy
  • Botox injections – injecting botulinum toxin into the calf muscle
  • Calf muscle resection – cutting away part of the calf muscle to make it smaller
  • Nerve and muscle ablation – using radio frequencies to stop the nerves and muscles in the calves from sending signals to the brain
    Calf liposuction – permanent removal of the excess fat in the calves

Of these options, liposuction is the best choice. A skilled surgeon can permanently remove the fat during this procedure and sculpt the area to achieve a beautiful shape.

To answer the question “what are cankles” and to learn about calf liposuction, contact Dr. Su at ArtLipo now.

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