If fatty thighs are a recent predicament for you, the cause may be linked to hormonal changes, like pregnancy or menopause. When the body stores a significant amount of fat in the thighs, it becomes “pear-shaped,” which can cause a bottom-heavy look.
“It is common for some women to store extra fat in the inner and outer thighs. This is sometimes genetic and worsens with age, improper diet and lack of exercise,” says Reno, NV, plastic surgeon Tiffany McCormack, MD. Problem areas, like the thighs, contain large amounts of insulin receptors on the fat cells—the more receptors, the more of a trouble spot. Sometimes referred to as saddlebags, extra fat on the outer thighs can cause tight-fitting clothes to look as if they are cutting into you. On the flip side, when the inner thighs become fatty, they can rub together, leading to discomfort, irritation and rashes.
While diet and exercise should always be your first line of defense when tackling fat, there are options for when you need a little extra help. “Liposuction is still the gold standard for exercise resistant areas such as the thighs,” says Dr. McCormack. But the skin on the thighs tends to be thin, so your doctor may suggest laser liposuction, which is believed to lend a tightening effect. Different than traditional liposuction, laser liposuction delivers a wave of laser light to stimulate collagen production to tighten the skin over subsequent months. Somewhat controversial, some experts feel that laser lipo can help to firm the thighs while others feel that it offers little or no tightening benefit.
The good news is, the thighs respond well to liposuction. However, the skin is thin in this area and there is more of a risk of burns or discoloration, especially with laser liposuction. If scarring is not a concern, a thigh lift can remove both excess skin and fat from your thighs.