A lipoma is a common, noncancerous growth of fatty tissue cells that form just beneath the skin.


It appears as a soft, movable lump under the skin, and it is generally painless unless it presses on nerves or blood vessels.


Lipomas can occur anywhere on the body where fat cells are present, but they are commonly found on the neck, shoulders, back, abdomen, arms, and thighs.



The exact cause of lipomas is often unknown, but they tend to run in families, suggesting a genetic predisposition.


They can also develop after a minor injury. They are more common in people aged 40 to 60, and some may have multiple lipomas.


Lipomas are usually:

  • Soft to the touch
  • Movable under the skin
  • Small (less than 2 inches in diameter)
  • Painless, unless they press on nerves or blood vessels


A doctor can usually diagnose a lipoma based on its appearance and feel.


In some cases, imaging tests such as ultrasound or MRI may be used to confirm the diagnosis or rule out other possible causes of the lump, especially if the lump is deeper or not mobile.


Depending on their characteristics, it may be important to exclude cancerous alternatives such as liposarcoma.


Lipomas are generally harmless and do not require treatment unless they are causing pain or other symptoms, or if they are cosmetically undesirable. They can be removed surgically and often under local anaesthetic.


Lipomas are typically harmless and rarely develop into cancer. However, if a lump grows rapidly, becomes painful, is not mobile or changes in texture, shape, or colour, it’s essential to consult a healthcare provider for evaluation as these may be signs of a more serious condition.
Regular monitoring and evaluation by a healthcare provider can help ensure that any changes are promptly addressed.

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