Lipedema Vs. Cellulite – The Difference

May 15, 2024

Do you have dimpled or uneven skin on your thighs and buttocks that make you self-conscious? Well, it could be one of two things, cellulite or lipedema. While both show up as a bumpy texture, distinguishing between them is crucial for the right diagnosis and proper management.

What is Lipedema

Lipedema is an acute disorder of adipose tissue that strikes lower extremities of the body. This medical disorder is common in women and presents itself as visually enlarged, column-like legs, including the hips and flanks.

This condition creates a disproportionate contour to the lower body and develops when fat deposits heavily beneath the skin’s surface and leaves the outlying skin extremely sensitive, cold and painful to the touch, and spongy.

Leaving it untreated is not an option since the progression can make the case worse. It can make your skin easily bruised and veiny, causing immense personal discomfort, limiting mobility and diminishing the quality of life. Moreover, untreated severely progressed lipedema also negatively affects the lymphatic system.

What is Cellulite?

Cellulite vs. lipedema is rather a cosmetic condition. Just like its counterpart, this condition also sees an accumulation of fatty deposits beneath the skin surface that push through the underlying connective tissue, to make skin dimple or pucker. Nothing to be ashamed about, cellulite is extremely common and is more of a superficial inconvenience, if anything.

Lipedema or Cellulite? How to Tell the Difference

Here’s how you can discriminate between the two conditions:


Lipedema shows up as swollen, dimpled, bumpy, or uneven skin, mainly seen affecting the lower body parts such as legs and arms. Cellulite also makes skin dimpled and bumpy but without swelling, commonly found on thighs, buttocks, and abdomen.


Lipedema vs. cellulite is due to abnormal accumulation and storage of fat cells, often because of genetic and hormonal factors. On the other hand, cellulite is due to fat and connective tissue pushing and pulling the skin, influenced by factors such as genetics, aging, and lifestyle.


You will observe symptoms such as swollen legs or arms, spongy or sensitive skin, easy bruising, along with chronic pain when the condition is lipedema, while skin changes are the only issue with cellulite.


Lipedema needs specialized treatment, such as compression therapy and liposuction, along with lifestyle changes due to the medical issues that it tags along. As far as cellulite is concerned, treatments focus on lifestyle changes, radiofrequency treatment, and laser procedures.

Lipedema Vs. Cellulite

Lipedema is a medical condition that shows up with grave symptoms like pain, swelling, and compromised mobility. All of these factors necessitate medical attention. On the other hand, cellulite is a common aesthetic concern, primarily affecting the appearance of the skin with no serious health consequences.

Closing Note

Understanding these differences is crucial for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment selection. While both conditions affect the skin, the root cause is not the same, and the adverse effects of lipedema are more severe vs. those of cellulite. Visit Reserve Salon and Spa to learn more about the cellulite treatment we offer. Get in touch with our magicians for more details on this. We are located in the following areas:

  • Creekside Park Village in Tomball, TX, dial (281) 255-0102 to connect with us.
  • Towne Lake in Cypress, TX, dial (281) 256-8357 to connect with us.



Skip to content