A less common cause of increasing size of the legs is due to a condition called lipedema and occurs mainly in women. In lipedema, fat is distributed unevenly underneath the skin of the buttocks and legs and this starts in the upper legs. The top half of the body may be a size 8 to 10, but the bottom half of the body may be a size 16. Later, lipedemic fat may build up in the arms.
Lipedema (see picture below) can be wrongly diagnosed as obesity or lymphedema. In lipedema, the legs start to look larger and larger and column-like in appearance and are often tender to touch and bruise easily.