The various evolution stages of lipoedema can be defined in four stages. If the condition is not treated, lipoedema will progressively worsen:
I: Smooth skin surface, soft to palpation, uniform thickening of the hypodermis.
II: Irregular skin surface, orange peel appearance, sensation of nodules on palpation
III: Hard skin surface, increased volume, deformed limbs aspect, functional discomfort
It is important not to confuse lipoedema and lymphoedema: lymphoedema is a mass of lymph and not of fat.
There are several signs that help to differentiate between these two pathologies:
After passing stage III, lipoedema can evolve into lipo-lymphoedema (stage IV): a disorder of lymphatic flow is added to lipoedema, leading to an accumulation of lymph in the tissues.
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