What is a lipoma?
A lipoma is a lump or mass that is made up of fat cells (adipocytes). Lipomas are a common, benign (noncancerous) type of slow-growing tumor. They most often develop just under the skin in the subcutaneous tissue, located beneath the skin and above the muscle. Lipomas can grow large in size, and multiple growths can develop, most commonly in the back, neck, shoulders or arms. Less commonly, lipomas can grow on almost any organ in the body.
Skin Problems Spotlight
Lipomas generally develop slowly, forming round, flattened lumps that are soft or spongy in texture and easily moved around under the skin. Lipomas can be unsightly, but they usually do not cause any pain, discomfort or tenderness.
Lipomas may begin to grow after a tissue injury or trauma, and they tend to run in families. Lipomas primarily occur in people who are middle-aged or older. In most cases, lipomas do not require treatment, although treatment is needed in some cases if the location or size of a lipoma causes pain, weakness, or other problems.
Seek prompt medical care if you develop a lump or swollen area. A determination of whether the lump is benign or cancerous requires a medical examination by a licensed health care provider. In rare cases, lipomas may occur in conjunction with a more serious condition, such as familial multiple lipomatosis or adiposis dolorosa.
What are the symptoms of a lipoma?
The symptoms of a lipoma typically include the formation of a lump or multiple lumps under the skin. Lipomas typically grow slowly, and you may not even notice the appearance of a lipoma for years. The most common sites for lipomas include the neck, shoulders, back, abdomen, arms or legs, but they can also grow on your internal organs.... Read more about lipoma symptoms
What causes a lipoma?
The reason why some people develop lipomas is not known, although family history appears to play a role. You are more likely to develop a lipoma if you have a parent or sibling with a lipoma. People who develop more than one lipoma may have an extremely rare inherited disorder called familial multiple lipomatosis.... Read more about lipoma causes
How is a lipoma treated?
Most lipomas do not require treatment. Generally, they are only removed if they are painful or grow too quickly. You may also need to have lipomas removed if they cause serious cosmetic problems that interfere with your ability to have a normal life.... Read more about lipoma treatments