The word lipoedema comes from ancient Greek and means “fat swelling”, composed of the words lípos “fat” and oídēma , “swelling”. It is incorrectly referred to in colloquial language as “riding breeches obesity” or “riding breeches syndrome”. The term lipohyperplasia dolorosa (painful overgrowth of fatty tissue) is more appropriate.
The first description was in 1940 by the two physicians Edgar Van Nuys Allen and Edgar Alphonso Hines Jr. , who described the clinical picture as lipoedema. For this reason, the term Allen-Hines syndrome is sometimes also used for lipoedema.
The classic symptoms of lipedema were first described in 1951 by Wold et al. described and are still valid today.