Lipedema Arms: What are the symptoms?

If you’re new here, Lipedema is a progressive condition that affects around 11% of women worldwide. It is characterised by the abnormal build up of fat in the lower extremities and sometimes arms. It is often misdiagnosed as Lymphedema, obesity or cellulite, leaving women in the later stages with debilitating pain and mental health issues because of their body image.

When considering Lipedema and its symptoms, many people associate it with the legs and bum. However, it’s also relatively common to suffer with Lipedema arms too. Especially in the latter stages of the condition.

What are Lipedema arms?

With Lipedema, fat cells are distributed unevenly in the arms and legs, rather than other parts of the body. Instead of the fat cells shrinking or getting bigger when changing diet or exercise routines, patients with Lipedema notice that ‘Lipedema fat’ does not respond in the same way. It continues to grow regardless of how healthy or active a person is. The result is arms and legs that are disproportionate to the rest of the body.

Lipedema Arms

What are the symptoms?

Wrist Cuff

When Lipedema affects the arms, a telltale sign is that the hands are spared. Similar to a Lipedema ‘ankle cuff’, where the fat stops suddenly at the foot, it is possible to have similar wrist cuffs if the Lipedema progresses in your arms.


As with Lipedema in the legs, another glaringly obvious sign of Lipedema in the arms is obvious disproportion between the arms and other areas of the body. For example, you may have a slender torso with a very low fat percentage, then excess fat on your upper arms and legs. This could be an indicator that you are suffering with the first signs of the condition.

Skin Texture

The skin in the areas of your arms where you have Lipedema fat will feel soft, cool and may be dimpled with an “orange peel” texture. On the legs, this is often mistaken for cellulite, so on the arms it can be more obvious and will help you diagnose Lipedema more definitively.

Pain and Tenderness

It’s not guaranteed, but fairly common, to have some level of pain, tenderness or heaviness in the arms, and they may bruise easily. It’s very difficult to blanket Lipedema symptoms because the condition affects everyone differently. Not everyone suffers from pain and discomfort, but if you do it can be a good indicator.

Treating Lipedema arms

The treatment plan for Lipedema arms is the same whether it manifests itself in the arms or legs. Lipedema arms can be managed using conservative measures, such as wearing compression garments, using a vibration plate or getting MLD massages. A robust approach to managing Lipedema can lessen some of the painful symptoms and slow progression.

It’s extremely unlikely that this will improve the appearance of the affected limbs or reduce the Lipedema fat in these areas. To do this, you would have to consider specialised procedures such as WAL Liposuction.

I am having my first procedure with Lipemedical in Madrid in 1 week, they will be treating my lower legs. This will involve removing the stubborn Lipedema fat using a thin cannula from above my knees to my ankles. They also treat Lipedema arms using the same method, the results are incredible.

Before and after - Lipedema arms

Do you have Lipedema arms? Send me an email to and let me know.

Disclaimer: My blogs talk about Lipedema, diet, surgery and much more. I’m talking from my point of view to help women, and remind them they are not alone. I am not a medical professional, so the content above is from my own perspective with research I have done into the topic. It’s not meant as medical advice, you should always consult your doctor or a specialist for both your diagnosis, and a treatment plan.

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