Lipedema fat feels different from regular fat. Not only does it feel different to the touch, but it also causes different sensations in the body. When touched, lipedema fat feels uneven, with a bumpy texture. Depending on the stage of the condition, the bumps may feel small or large. In terms of sensation, areas of lipedema fat may feel tender, swollen or painful.

How Is Lipedema Fat Different from Regular Fat?

Although some people cannot tell the difference between lipedema fat and regular fat, there are differences. These are sometimes only noticeable to the sufferer themselves and to specialists in the field.

Lipedema fat accumulates differently on the body than regular fat. Some obese people have specific areas of their bodies with more fat than others due to their genes. But overall, they will look big all over their bodies. Lipedema sufferers may not appear larger in general. They may have significant differences in size between their lower and upper bodies. Their torsos may look slim, but their legs may appear very large in comparison. Generally, lipedema fat accumulates only on the lower limbs. In some cases, though, it can accumulate on the arms too. Nevertheless, sufferers may have slim hands and feet, which is often not the case with obese people.

Lipedema fat has a loose connective tissue structure that regular fat does not. It also contains nodules and lobules. Nodules can feel like grains of sand, seeds, peas, beans, or even walnuts beneath the skin. Regular fat doesn’t have this unusual texture.

Also Read - Understanding Types of Fat and Lipedema Treatment

Does Lipedema Fat Feel the Same as Cellulite?

It’s sometimes difficult to spot the differences between lipedema and cellulite. They both look similar, but they are actually very different from each other. While both cellulite and lipedema cause bumpiness of the skin and dimpling, cellulite causes no bruising or pain.

Lipedema, on the other hand, does result in easy bruising, tenderness to the touch, and sometimes pain. In some cases, cellulite will respond to lifestyle changes too, and it's possible to improve its appearance. Losing weight and developing more muscle can improve the appearance of cellulite. Some creams and lotions temporarily improve the way cellulite looks. Lipedema won’t change if you adapt your lifestyle. There are no creams or lotions that can improve its appearance. It will only get worse with time.

How Is Lipedema Different from Obesity?

Many people think that lipedema sufferers actually suffer from obesity. Even medical professionals often misdiagnose their patients with lipedema as being obese. Lipedema and obesity look very similar. However, there are critical differences between the two. Firstly, obesity will respond to diet and exercise. If someone obese eats a low-calorie diet and works out regularly, they’ll shed regular fat. They cannot lose lipedema fat in this way. Lipedema fat doesn’t go away no matter how often you work out or how little you eat. There are people who suffer from both eating disorders and lipedema. The unaffected areas of their bodies are extremely slim, but the affected areas still look large.

Obesity also usually affects the whole body, whereas lipedema tends to affect only the lower limbs and sometimes the arms. Obesity doesn’t cause pain to the touch or bruising either, unlike lipedema.

Perhaps the most significant difference is that obesity isn’t progressive. While some obese people will continue to get bigger, that isn’t always the case. With the right approach, it’s possible to reverse obesity and return to a normal body weight. Lipedema, on the other hand, is progressive. It only worsens over time.

Does Lipedema Fat Feel Different at Different Stages of The Disease?

Without treatment, lipedema will progress and worsen. The fat will continue to accumulate and cause further pain and mobility issues. It will also feel different to the touch as the disease progresses.

At the earliest stages, it may feel like there are grains of rice beneath the surface of the skin. These tiny nodules will eventually get bigger and start to feel more like beans or peas. Eventually, those nodules may feel as big as walnuts or even plums below the skin.

How Can I Get Rid of Lipedema Fat?

There is a common misconception that it’s possible to eradicate lipedema fat through dieting and exercising. Unfortunately, that approach won’t work. Without proper treatment, the condition will only worsen with time. Although there is currently no cure for lipedema, managing the disease is possible. There are conservative treatments available that some doctors recommend. These treatments include manual lymphatic drainage, lifestyle changes, and wearing compression garments. These can help relieve the symptoms temporarily, but they won't eliminate the lipedema fat.

The only way to eliminate lipedema fat is to undergo lipedema surgery. The surgery to treat lipedema is liposuction of the affected areas. It works by removing the diseased fat cells. As a result, the patient experiences a reduction in pain, gains in mobility, and a better quality of life.

To find out more about how to get rid of lipedema fat with surgery, contact Dr. Su at ArtLipo today.