Introduction: Lipodystrophy is a heterogeneous group of rare diseases characterized by various degrees of fat loss which leads to serious morbidity due to metabolic abnormalities associated with insulin resistance and subtype-specific clinical features associated with underlying molecular etiology. Areas covered: This article aims to help physicians address challenges in diagnosing and managing lipodystrophy. We systematically reviewed the literature on PubMed and Google Scholar databases to summarize the current knowledge in lipodystrophy management. Expert opinion: Adipose tissue is a highly active endocrine organ that regulates metabolic homeostasis in the human body through a comprehensive communication network with other organ systems such as the central nervous system, liver, digestive system, and the immune system. The adipose tissue is capable of producing and secreting numerous factors with important endocrine functions such as leptin that regulates energy homeostasis. Recent developments in the field have helped to solve some of the mysteries behind lipodystrophy that allowed us to get a better understanding of adipocyte function and differentiation. From a clinical standpoint, physicians who suspect lipodystrophy should distinguish the disease from several others that may present with similar clinical features. It is also important for physicians to carefully interpret clinical features, laboratory, and imaging results before moving to more sophisticated tests and making decisions about therapy.