What Is Lipoma?

A lipoma looks like a small lump, and is a collection of fat cells that forms just under skin.  They are most often found on the neck, the chest, as well as on the arms and upper thighs.  They can, however, be found just about anywhere in the body.

Lipomas are the most common non-cancerous lumps of soft tissue.

Causes Of Lipoma

Causes of lipomas are not completely know or well understood.  It is, however, widely believed that the propensity to develop lipoma could be inherited.  It also possible that a minor injury could also somehow trigger a lipoma to grow.

Excess weight has been ruled out as a cause of lipoma.

How To Identify Lipoma

  • Lipomas are small and are between half and one inch
  • Lipomas are felt just under skin
  • Lipomas tend to be movable
  • Lipomas feel soft, almost rubbery
  • Lipomas do not cause pain or discomfort
  • Lipomas do not change in size, or at most, grow very slowly
  • A lipoma with a prominent location, or a particularly large size is usually the only symptom.

It is important to have any lipomas checked out by your health professional to confirm it is indeed a lipoma, and to make sure that the growth is non-cancerous.

Lipomas are generally harmless, but cause distress when located in visible places on the body.  It may be removed with a surgical procedure.  If symptoms such as pain or infection develop, or if the lipoma interferes with daily life or suddenly increases in size, it is important to seek medical advice.

Most lipomas can be removed in day surgery or at the doctor’s office under a local anesthetic.

Lipomas tend to appear mostly in middle age, although they have been known to occur at any age.  They seem to occur in both men and women equally, although men tend to develop multiple lipomas more frequently than women.

Lipomas are generally harmless and more of a cosmetic hassle than anything else.

Disclaimer: this blog provides general information and is not a substitute for, nor does it constitute medical advice.