Ricker Polsdorfer, MD
A lipoma is a harmless lump of fat. There are several types, usually classified by where they appear. Lipomas may occur anywhere and are commonly are found just beneath the skin.
Lipomas have no known cause. They may be related to a previous injury to the tissue.
Factors that increase your chances of developing a lipoma include:
Lipomas are usually soft, painless, moveable lumps under the skin. They usually don't cause symptoms.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The diagnosis is usually based on smoothness, softness, and ease of movement under the skin. Your doctor may do a
to rule out other skin conditions.
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. You may want to leave the lump alone. Treatment options include:
There are no current guidelines to prevent lipoma.
American Academy of Dermatology
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
The Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons
Lipoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 24, 2014. Accessed August 15, 2014.
Lipomas. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy website. Available at:
http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic_disorders/benign_skin_tumors_growths_and_vascular_lesions/lipomas.html. Updated November 2013. Accessed August 15, 2014.
Lipoplasty. American Society of Plastic Surgeons website. Available at:
http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/liposuction.html. Accessed August 15, 2014.
Salam GA. Lipoma excision.
Am Fam Physician. 2002;65:901-904.
Last reviewed August 2014 by
Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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