The key difference between cellulite and lipedema is that cellulite is a condition that occurs due to fat and connective tissue pushing and pulling the skin, while lipedema is a condition that occurs due to abnormal accumulation and deposition of fat cells.
The skin is the largest organ in the human body. It is a very important organ that provides protection to the body. However, many medical conditions can affect the way it looks and feels. Cellulite and lipedema are two common skin conditions that affect the appearance of the skin. Though these conditions may appear similar, they are two different skin conditions.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Cellulite
3. What is Lipedema
4. Similarities – Cellulite and Lipedema
5. Cellulite vs Lipedema in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Cellulite vs Lipedema
What is Cellulite?
Cellulite is a skin condition that is due to fat and connective tissue pushing and pulling the skin. It is a common skin disorder where fat cells push against the skin while connective tissue pulls them down. This causes a dimpled appearance on the skin. Cellulite commonly appears in the thighs, buttocks, and other regions that have a higher accumulation of fat cells in the body. Sometimes, it is considered a cosmetic condition rather than a medical condition. Moreover, cellulite can affect anyone of any size and is not normally a cause for large concerns. The symptoms may include dimpled or bumpy skin, cottage cheese, or orange peel texture. In severe cases, the skin appears rumpled and bumpy with areas of peaks and valleys. Little is known about the exact cause of cellulite. But hormonal factors and genetics determine skin structure, skin texture, body type, and other factors such as weight and muscle tone can trigger cellulite.
Cellulite can be diagnosed through physical examination. Furthermore, treatment options may include laser and radio frequency therapy, cryolipolysis, acoustic wave therapy, surgery, alternative medicine (rigorous massage), lifestyle and home remedies (medicated creams, weight loss, physical activities, detoxification diet, anti-cellulite creams).
What is Lipedema?
Lipedema is a skin condition due to abnormal accumulation and deposition of fat cells. It can affect 11% of women. Lipedema normally occurs when fat is distributed in an irregular way underneath the skin. It can usually be seen in the buttocks and legs. It is considered to be a medical condition as it causes pain and other problems. Sometimes, lipedema can be mistaken for obesity and lymphedema. Doctors believe hormones play a role in lipedema though the exact cause is not known. It is often worse at puberty, during pregnancy, following gynecologic surgery, and around the time of menopause. The symptoms may include fat build-up in the buttocks, thighs, calves, and upper arms, pain affecting the ability to walk when the condition gets worse, emotional symptoms such as being embarrassed, anxious, depressed, and secondary lymphedema.
Lipedema can be diagnosed through physical examinations with palpation, clinical history, and family history. Furthermore, the treatments for lipedema include lifestyle changes (healthy diet), decongestive therapy and compression therapy, invasive therapy (liposuction), and bariatric surgery.
What are the Similarities Between Cellulite and Lipedema?
- Cellulite and lipedema are two common skin conditions that affect the appearance of the skin.
- Both skin conditions take place in areas of the body where there is high-fat accumulation.
- They can be diagnosed through physical examination.
- Both skin conditions affect women.
- However, they are not life-threatening.
- They are treated through specific surgeries.
What is the Difference Between Cellulite and Lipedema?
Cellulite is due to fat and connective tissue pushing and pulling the skin, while lipedema is due to abnormal accumulation and deposition of fat cells. Thus, this is the key difference between cellulite and lipedema. Furthermore, the appearance of cellulite includes dimpled bumpy, or uneven skin with no swelling, while the appearance of lipedema includes swollen, dimpled, bumpy, or uneven skin.
The below infographic presents the differences between cellulite and lipedema in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Cellulite vs Lipedema
Skin is the largest organ and one of the most important organs that provides protection for the human body. There are different skin conditions that affect the appearance of the skin. Cellulite and lipedema are two common skin conditions. Cellulite is due to fat and connective tissue pushing and pulling the skin, while lipedema is due to abnormal accumulation and deposition of fat cells. So, this summarizes the difference between cellulite and lipedema.
1. “Cellulite: What It Is, Causes & Treatment.” Cleveland Clinic.
2. Dunkin, Mary Anne. “Lipedema: Symptoms, Treatment, Diet, Causes, and More.” WebMD.
1. “Cellulite-haut” By Lanzi – Own work (CC BY 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Före och efter behandling med fettsugning” By Borgardottir – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
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