Talk Lipoedema

Caring for your skin with lipoedema

Caring for your skin 

Our skin is important as it protects us and maintains our body temperature. In lipoedema the skin and connective tissues can be very soft and flexible. Lipoedema tissues can also feel cold to the touch, due to the insulating features of fat cells. It is sometimes said that the faces of people with lipoedema never age but have a secret to eternal youth!

Under the skin is a network of lymphatics. Some are smaller than a baby’s hair and cannot be seen by the naked eye.  They remove excess fluid and waste products from the body.  The work of lymphatics in lipoedema is not clear but some people do develop fluid swelling and lymphoedema, probably because the lymphatics become overwhelmed trying to drain the extra fat tissues.

If lymphoedema develops, the skin can become red, warm, and hard (fibrosis).  If cellulitis infection occurs, an infection spreads out from an area, and the body temperature increases. If this happens, you will need to urgently see a doctor for antibiotic treatment.

Ways to enhance skin and lymphatics:

  • Daily washing and moisturizing the skin can help to keep it healthy
  • Healthy eating and keeping hydrated can help to ensure skin health
  • Do regular skin massage, skin rolling or gentle brushing with a soft brush to improve lymph drainage
  • Remember that skin folds such as under the breasts, or in the abdomen can be prone to fungal infections; wash and dry carefully and apply suitable anti-fungal cream if required.