Lipoma — Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, causes, treatment of this usually harmless fatty tumor that tends to show up in middle age.
A lipoma is a slow-growing, fatty lump that's most often situated between your skin and the underlying muscle layer. A lipoma, which feels doughy and usually isn't tender, moves readily with slight finger pressure. Lipomas are usually detected in middle age. Some people have more than one lipoma.
A lipoma isn't cancer and usually is harmless. Treatment generally isn't necessary, but if the lipoma bothers you, is painful or is growing, you may want to have it removed.
A lipoma is a fatty tumor located just below the skin. It isn't cancer and is usually harmless.
Lipomas can occur anywhere in the body. They are typically:
A lipoma is rarely a serious medical condition. But if you notice a lump or swelling anywhere on your body, have it checked by your doctor.
The cause of lipomas isn't fully understood. They tend to run in families, so genetic factors likely play a role in their development.
Several factors may increase your risk of developing a lipoma, including:
To diagnose a lipoma, your doctor may perform:
There's a very small chance that a lump resembling a lipoma may actually be a form of cancer called liposarcoma. Liposarcomas — cancerous tumors in fatty tissues — grow rapidly, don't move under the skin and are usually painful. A biopsy or an MRI or CT scan is typically done if your doctor suspects liposarcoma.
No treatment is usually necessary for a lipoma. However, if the lipoma bothers you, is painful or is growing, your doctor might recommend that it be removed. Lipoma treatments include:
You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or primary doctor. You may then be referred to a doctor who specializes in skin disorders (dermatologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.
Preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time with your doctor. For lipoma, some basic questions to ask include:
Don't hesitate to ask other questions that occur to you.
Your doctor is likely to ask you questions, too, including: