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Lipoma (Skin Lumps)

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What is lipoma?

A lipoma is a slow-growing, fatty lump that typically develops between your skin and the layer of an underlying muscle. It can develop in deeper tissues, like the abdominal organs.Lipomas are often asymptomatic and do not require treatment. Although lipoma is composed of fat cells, it is not caused by excess weight. However, it does tend to run infamilies and can be congenital.

Courtesy: Aventus Clinic

What causes a lipoma?

The cause of lipoma remains largely unknown.People who suffer from numerous lipomas may have a hereditary background.Approximately 2–3 percent of individuals with lipomas have a family history of the disease.According to research studies, lipomas may manifest themselves where a considerable impact has been created by an injury.

There are numerous conditions that can cause multiple lipomas to form in the body such as:

  1. Dercum’s disease: Most frequently affecting the arms, legs, and trunk, this unusual ailment causes the growth of painful lipomas.

Courtesy: HexaHealth

  1. Gardner syndrome:It is characterized by lipomas and a number of other medical conditions.
  2. Hereditary multiple lipomatosis:Itis a disorder that is inherited or transmitted from one generation to the next.
  3. Madelung’s disease:Men who drink too much alcohol are more likely to develop this disease. Lipomas form around the neck and shoulders in this disease.

Where do lipomas develop?

Lipomas can develop anywhere in the body. Rarely do lipomas develop on the brain, internal organs, or muscles.Even though several lipomas can develop, the majority of persons with them only have one.The arms, legs, back, neck, shoulders, trunk (chest and torso), and forehead are the areas where lipomas most commonly grow just under the skin.

What are some of the symptoms of lipoma?

Many people who have lipomas don’t even have any symptoms.Typically, lipomas are:

Encapsulated: They remain contained and don’t spread to the tissues around them.

Painless: Lipomas are mostly painless. Depending on where they are, how big they are, and whether blood vessels are present, some lipomas do, however, cause pain and discomfort.

Oval or round in shape:The fatty lumps of elastic tissue often appear symmetrical and circular in shape.

Courtesy: HexaHealth

Moveable: Lipomas wiggle below the skin’s surface when they are touched.

Small in size:Lipomas normally have a diameter of less than 2 inches (5 cm), though they can enlarge.

Doughy and soft: Lipomas are soft to the touch and are easily moved by light finger pressure.

Occasionally excruciating: If lipomas expand and push on surrounding nerves or if they have a lot of blood vessels, they may become painful.

What are the different types of lipomas?

Lipomas come in many different forms. The appearance of tissue under a microscope aids physicians in identifying various lipoma types.

  • Conventional lipoma: This is the most typical form of lipoma.
  • Atypical lipoma:These tumours have a greater number of cells and deeper fat.
  • Hibernoma:The mature white fat that is present in a typical lipoma has been replaced by brown fat in this growth.
  • Myelolipoma:In contrast to ordinary lipomas, the fat tissue in a myelolipoma produces white blood cells.
  • Spindle cell lipoma:As the name suggests, the fat cells in this development have a spindle-like appearance.
  • Pleomorphic lipoma:Fat cells of various sizes and shapes can be found in this type of lipoma.
  • Fibrolipoma:Fat and fibrous tissue are both present in fibro-lipoma.
  • Angiolipoma:An angiolipoma is a lipoma with a significant number of blood vessels and fat.

Diagnosis for lipoma

A doctor might use the following tests to identify a lipoma:

  • A physical examination
  • The dermatologist may occasionally take a lipoma biopsy. A small sample of tissue will be removed during this process and sent to a lab for analysis.This examination is performed by medical specialists to rule out the risk of cancer. Despite the fact that a lipoma is not cancerous, it might sporadically resemble a liposarcoma, which ismalignant (cancerous).
  • There is a very slim chance that a lump that resembles a lipoma is actually liposarcoma, a type of cancer. Cancerous tumours in fatty tissues called liposarcomas develop quickly, don’t travel under the skin, and are typically uncomfortable. In most cases, if your doctor suspects liposarcoma, a biopsy, MRI, or CT scan will be performed.

Surgical Treatment for Lipoma

Most lipomas do not require treatment unless they are painful or produce other problems. The doctor could advise surgery if a lipoma is causing problems and discomfort. It’s crucial to remember that the doctor will make a diagnosis and devise a personalized treatment plan for the patient. It is advised to avoid receiving any therapies without first seeking a doctor’s evaluation and advice.

Courtesy: HexaHealth

The surgical techniques used to treat lipoma are listed below:

  1. Lipoma Removal Surgery: Under the influence of the local anesthetic, the majority of lipomas are cut out during lipoma removal surgery.
  2. Liposuction:Liposuction, a cosmetic surgical technique, removes the fatty tissue from the lipoma growth.


Lipomas are unharmful, fatty tumours that can develop under the skin. They develop as a result of fatty tissue growth, and there is no way to stop this from happening.They are generally painless and don’t need to be treated. But if a lipoma is causing discomfort or other symptoms or if the patient wants to remove it for cosmetic reasons, a doctor can surgically do it.The surgical removal of a lipoma may involve cutting out the lipoma or using liposuction to remove the fatty tissue surrounding the lipoma growth.Treatment options for lipomas are numerous, although asymptomatic lesions should be untouched. A primary care physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant should follow up with the patient and communicate with the surgeon as needed in an interprofessional team approach.