Lipoma is a soft lump that is present beneath the skin layer. Read the article to know its causes, types, symptoms, diagnosis, risk factors, prevention, and treatment.
A lipoma is a fatty lump, which is a very slow-growing mass commonly seen between the skin and the muscle below the skin layer. It is usually benign and does not convert to cancer. A lipoma that grows very fast and or is painful should be consulted with a physician and may require a biopsy. They can occur in any age group but are usually seen in middle-aged people.
The cause of lipoma is unknown. There is a link between lipoma and genetics, so they seem to run through the families. Injuries like a blow is also a common cause that triggers the growth of lipoma.
The signs and symptoms of lipoma may include:
A lipoma is usually present underneath the skin.
It develops as a small and soft lump, which is usually less than two inches wide.
They are colorless.
They move quickly with the finger.
When you press on the lipoma, it may feel like a dough-like consistency.
They are usually not painful but can be painful when pressing on the organs, joints, nerves, or blood vessels running through them.
It is simple to identify a lipoma since we can move it very easily.
They are usually small but can grow larger.
Lipomas that are present deeper under the skin cannot be easily seen and felt.
Lipoma can be present in any part of the body, like the neck, shoulders, forearms, thighs, and arms.
Deep lipoma can most commonly put pressure on the nerves or the internal organs. For example, it can cause constipation, nausea, and vomiting if present near or on the bowels.
Lipoma usually does not cause any pain, but angiolipoma can be more painful than a regular lipoma.
Neural fibro lipoma.
Intradermal spindle cell lipoma.
Spindle cell lipoma.
1. Men are more likely to get multiple lipomas than females, but both sexes are equally likely to get lipoma.
3. They are commonly seen in people with medical conditions like:
4. Other risk factors that can cause lipoma are:
The techniques used to diagnose lipoma are:
The tissue sample is taken for biopsy.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is done, especially if the lipoma is large and is present very deep in the skin.
The lipoma is rarely harmful, and it usually does not require any treatment unless it is bothering you. Sometimes the lump which resembles a lipoma can be a cancerous condition called liposarcoma. The liposarcoma is a cancerous tumor that multiplies on the fatty tissues that do not move under the skin and are usually painful. Lipoma need not be removed as they are not cancerous and cannot become cancer, but they need to be removed if they have the following symptoms:
Tender or painful.
Inflamed or infected repeatedly.
When the lipoma drains a foul-smelling discharge, we should surgically remove it.
When interfering with any function or movement, we should remove it surgically.
Annoying or unsightly.
Local anesthesia will be injected around the lipoma by the surgeon.
An incision is made in the skin.
The lipoma is removed.
The incision is closed with the sutures.
When the lipoma is present in the area where it cannot be reached with a simple incision, it should be removed using general anesthesia.
Liposuction - This is the method that uses a large syringe and a needle to take out the fatty lump, and it is complicated to eradicate the lipoma.
Steroid Injections- These are used to shrink the lipoma, but cannot remove it.
Bitter Foods and Herbs- These will increase the body’s capacity to digest the fats in the body like a lipoma. These bitters will stimulate the liver and gallbladder to metabolize the fats. Bitter herbs used are wormwood, gentian, rue, yarrow, centaury, southernwood, boneset, and goldenseal. And the bitter foods commonly used are dandelion greens, citrus peels, unsweetened chocolates, and olives.
Chickweed- This chickweed tincture is available in the herbal store. Taking one teaspoon of this chickweed tincture three times a day can help reduce the lipoma. Chickweed ointment is also available in the herbal store, which should be applied once a day over the affected area.
Lemon juice - Drinking water containing lemon juice will help remove toxins from the body by stimulating and strengthening the digestive system and purifying the liver.
Cedars - Apply cedar ointment three times daily on the affected area and massage over it. Then add five drops of cedar extract to two teaspoons of water and have it three times daily.
The best way to prevent lipoma are:
Maintaining a healthy body weight.
Doing regular exercise.
Eating healthy foods.
Avoid consumption of alcohol.
Seeking medical help is needed in the following conditions:
The size of the lump rapidly increases.
There is a recurrent infection.
A foul-smelling discharge from the lump.
When there is pain and tenderness associated with the lipoma.
When you see swelling or a lump in your body, you need to check it with a doctor. Check whether it is a harmless lipoma or something else that needs to be treated or removed. Rarely, a lipoma can be formed in the internal organs or more in-depth into the muscles, but if it occurs and causes pain, it needs to be removed.
The exact cause of lipoma is unknown. However, lipomas might be genetic, where a person is at a high risk of having lipoma if their family members are known to have it. Frequent injury to a site is also suspected of causing lipoma.
Lipoma does not usually require any treatment. However, if it keeps growing or if it becomes painful and bothersome, your doctor may recommend surgically removing it.
No, lipomas are not cancer, and they do not increase the risk of cancerous transformation.
Lipomas are known to increase in size when a person gains weight. But, weight loss does not usually decrease the size of the lipoma.
Lipomas are harmless and soft benign tumors that do not usually require any treatment.
Lipomas are fat cysts that are harmless benign soft tumors, and they do not usually burst.
Lipomas usually develop during middle age. They can feel like a small soft mass under your skin that readily moves if touched with your finger. Lipomas are usually painless.
Lipomas are usually painless, but in certain instances, if a lipoma has many blood vessels or when a lipoma presses against a nerve fiber, it can cause pain.
Some natural healers claim that they can cure lipoma with natural remedies like plants and herbs like white cedar tree extracts. However, there is no evidence to prove its role in cure.
Most cases of lipomas are free to move under the skin. However, some lipomas can get attached to skeletal muscles.
Lipomas are harmless, soft, benign tumors, and they do not usually require any treatment. They do not cause any significant harm if left untreated except for some unesthetic bumpy appearance.
You might feel slight pain at the site of surgery for a few days that usually subsides in a few weeks.
Lipomas are slow-growing benign tumors, and they rarely reach 2 cm. If a lipoma reaches 5 cm, then it is considered to be a giant lipoma.
Last reviewed at:
03 May 2022 - 5 min read
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