Lipedema-An update

Dermatol Ther. 2019 Mar;32(2):e12805. doi: 10.1111/dth.12805. Epub 2018 Dec 27.


Lipedema is a chronic disabilitating disease affecting the subcutaneous adipose tissue of the extremities in females during or after puberty. The disease is characterized by bilateral swelling of legs and/or arms, bruising, and pain. In contrast to lymphedema, the most distal parts remain unaffected. In contrast to obesity, patients with lipedema have a lower risk of diabetes mellitus. The pathogenesis is not well understood. However, hormonal factors seem to play a vital role, as it is an exclusively female disorder. The recent advantages in understanding and treating lipedema are reviewed.

Keywords: bruising; complex decongestive therapy; edema; lipedema; liposuction; lymphedema; obesity; pain; subcutaneous adipose tissue.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipedema / epidemiology*
  • Lipedema / pathology
  • Lipedema / therapy
  • Lymphedema / pathology
  • Obesity / complications
  • Subcutaneous Fat / pathology*