Lipoma Picture

Lipoma: Causes, Picture, Symptoms and Treatment

Lipoma is a condition that you can experience at any time in your life. It is nothing but a fatty lump with a slow growth rate. In most cases, you can feel the lump between the skin layers and the muscle underneath it. The feel of the lump is mostly doughy. The not so tender lump can change its position with a little pressure. So, when you press your finger on the lump, it changes its position. People in their middle age can experience the problem. A person can get more than one lipoma in their body. It is a simple issue that can clear itself without treatment. The hard mass can scare you as it may resemble cancer. But, in most cases, the hard mass can cause no problem. Therefore, you need no treatment to alleviate the issue. Some hard masses can trigger pain or grow at a steady pace. If it causes you agony, then you need to see a doctor immediately. So, you need proper medical attention to provide you with relief from the pain and discomfort associated with it. Want to know more about the common health problem? Then, scroll below to get the right information.

What Is Lipoma?

The noncancerous (benign) tumor made of fatty tissue can result in the development of soft lump. The small yet rubbery lump develops just under your skin. The common soft tissue can appear in adults between the ages of forty sixty years. It is not a problem that affects children. So, the problem is more common in adults. But, men can suffer from the problem more compared to women. Want to know the most important feature of the tumor? It does not change its form. So, it has very low chances of progressing into a cancerous mass. It requires no treatment, but regular monitoring can provide you peace of mind.


A lipoma can develop at any part of your body. But, the most common places it appears are:

  • Upper Back
  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Back
  • Buttocks
  • Arms
  • Buttocks
  • Upper Thighs

In some cases, the lipoma can appear in less common places like:

  • Calf
  • Deep tissue of the thigh

The problem can disappear without any medical intervention. But, if the fatty mass causes pain, then you need to see a doctor. The tumor growing steadily can indicate some issue. So, you need prompt medical treatment to alleviate the problem.

Classification Of Lipoma

Lipoma develops due to the presence of excess fatty tissue, but, you can classify it into different subtypes based on the fat. It is differentiated based on its appearance under the microscope.

Conventional Lipoma

The well-circumscribed tumor of benign nature contains mainly white fat. The mature adipocytes can arise on the surface of the bones, deep soft tissue or the subcutaneous tissue. So, the lobules of mature white fat are the most common one.



It is the rare form of the benign tumor that develops from leftovers of the fetal brown fat instead of the common white fat. The fetal brown adipose tissue resembles a malignant tumor. So, clinically as well as on the MRI images, the hibernoma can resemble the cancerous tumor.


It is one of the rarest variants of the problem. The handful of cases of fibro lipoma in the oral cavity reported around the world shows its rarity. It contains fatty as well as fibrous tissue. The lesions can trigger infrequent pain sensation. So, the slow progression of the lesion can result in a larger size. It results in mastication as well as speech difficulties.


It is the rare version of the complication. The growth encompasses fat and blood vessels under the skin. A few percentages (5%-17%) of the overall lipoma cases comes under angiolipoma category (according to a 2016 report). This type can cause tenderness and pain in your body. It can occur anywhere in the body. But, it is more prominent in areas like:

  • Forearms
  • Legs
  • Neck
  • Upper Arms
  • Trunk
  • Myelolipoma

The benign neoplasm occurs mostly in the adrenal gland. The rare form of lipoma consists of mature adipose tissue along with the hematopoietic elements. It causes no symptoms. The small benign tumors may not affect you. But, in some cases of adrenal myelolipoma, you can experience chronic pain.

Spindle Cell Lipoma

Spindle Cell Lipoma

It is the tumor of fat affecting people in their middle-age or old age. It consists of fat cells that resemble rods. The subcutaneous tumor cause no visible signs or symptoms. So, you may not experience any pain or discomfort. The type of fat tumor occurs mostly on your upper back and neck.

Pleomorphic Lipoma

The adipocytic neoplasm occurs rarely in people compared to the other types. The fat tumor consists of cells of different sizes as well as shapes. The issue is common among elderly people. So, the tumor of benign nature can affect elderly people on their shoulder or neck.

Atypical Lipoma

It is the type that has low malignancy. So, the low-grade tumor consists of a large number of cells. The deep fat content rarely metastasizes. But, you need to consult a doctor for monitoring it. The tumor has high chances of recurrence. It can also dedifferentiate.

Symptoms Of Lipoma

Several types of skin tumors can affect you. So, how can you differentiate a lipoma from the others? The benign fatty tumor has distinct characteristics that make it easy to identify them. You can have a lipoma if you have one or more symptoms:

Soft To Touch

The tumor has a soft feel. It is doughy to touch, but it can move from one position to another with slight pressure. You can just apply pressure with your fingertips to make it move. So, the main feature of the tumor is its easy movement with finger prodding.

Under The Skin

The benign tumor can occur anywhere in the body. but, it mostly occurs in areas like back, shoulders or neck. But, the tumor can also occur on the thighs, arms, and stomach. So, the tumor remains underneath the skin.

Pale And Colorless

The tumor underneath the skin appears pale and colorless. So, you may never see the color difference in the affected area. The lack of any other indication makes it harmless.

Slow Progression

The lipoma grows slowly. It only increases in size after a long duration of time. Therefore, you cannot see a change in its size overnight.

Small Size

The tumor appears small in size. It mostly measures five centimeters (two inches) in diameter. But, the benign tumor can grow into a larger size.

Sometimes Painful

The lipomas can become painful when it grows near the nerves. The growth near the nerve cells can put pressure and cause distress. So, the growth containing blood vessels or press nearby nerves can result in agony.

Though the condition is harmless, you need to see a doctor. The lump or swelling on your body can indicate an underlying health condition like cancer. So, when you notice any change in your skin, report it to your doctor. The lipomas resemble a more serious condition known as liposarcoma. It is the cancerous condition leading to severe complications. Therefore, consult your doctor as soon as possible to eliminate dangerous health conditions.

Causes Of Lipoma

The exact cause of the tumor under the skin isn’t understood completely by the medical community. But, certain issues in your body can trigger the problem. So, the following factor plays an important role in getting affected by a complication.


Age is a factor that can increase your risk of the problem. People between the ages of forty and sixty have more probability of getting the problem in their life.

Genetic Factors

The problem can run in the family. So, if your family member has the problem, then the chances are high for you to get affected by the tumor. Genetics can play an important role in getting the problem.


Excess can trigger the issue in men and women alike. Therefore, the excess fat accumulation under the skin can increase your risk of the complication. The excess weight can increase the size of your lipoma.

High Cholesterol

The triglycerides are the fats used by the human body to store excess calories. The triglycerides can contribute to the development of the lipoma. It is one of the important factors contributing to the issue.


Uncontrolled diabetes can trigger several issues in the body. it can make the body lose its ability to digest the fat cells effectively. So, it can lead to the growth of non-cancerous tumors.

Liver Disease

Liver diseases can affect its function. So, it can lead to fat deposits triggering the problem.

Other Medical Condition

Some medical condition can increase your risk of the benign tumor development. The following issues can lead to the development of lipoma.

So, the people who have the health issue have comparatively more chances of getting the problem.

Diagnosis Of Lipoma

The classification of different skin lumps can confuse you. Understanding the type of skin lump can reveal the complication associated with it. You need to understand if the skin lump can cause danger to your health or not. So, you need to take the doctor’s advice. The diagnosis methods to detect the severity of the issue are:

Physical Exam

The doctor can check the problem by performing a thorough physical examination. The tumor feels soft without any pain. The fatty tissue in the tumor can make it easier to move with little pressure. Therefore, the physical examination can detect the issue with ease.



The biopsy can detect the cancerous presence. The lipoma is mostly non-cancerous. So, a sample of tissue from the tumor gets tested in the laboratory. The dermatologist can take the portion for testing. During the biopsy, the tissue sample gets scraped. As the lipoma resembles liposarcoma, it is essential to eliminate the malignant presence. Getting it detected as soon as possible can provide you peace of mind. The liposarcomas can progress quickly leading to immense pain. Therefore, getting it detected can save your life.

Imaging Tests

Imaging Tests

The different sophisticated imaging tests can reveal the presence of the tumor and its features. The tests like X-ray, CT scan, or MRI can reveal the features of the large tumors and its features. So, the images can also shed light on the depth of the fatty tissue.

The different diagnostic methods can reveal the severity of the issue. So, based on the diagnosis, your doctor decides if you require treatment or not.

Treatment For Lipoma

The benign tumor needs no special medical treatment. It only becomes a serious cause of concern with growing pain or size. If you encounter such a problem, then you need to get a medical appointment as soon as possible. When you contact your doctor, he/she develops a plan that solves your problem. Getting the condition treated from the dermatologist can alleviate the issue. Generally, the treatment plan gets developed after considering the following factors:

  • The exact size of the benign tumor under your skin.
  • The number of lipomas you have on your body.
  • Your family history of skin cancer.
  • Your medical history of skin cancer.
  • The pain or tenderness you feel at the tumor site.

Surgical Removal

Surgical Removal

The invasive method can remove the tumor from the skin by cutting it out. The chances of tumor recurrences are low. So, it is uncommon to get affected by the tumor again. The invasive surgery can leave scars and bruises. With the latest technology available, your doctor can choose minimal excision extraction. It can remove the tumor with less scarring. The option is perfect for tumors less than two inches.

For giant lipomas, the surgery can take time. It is harder to cut the tumors from the body. So, you need anesthesia during the procedure. It can cause you discomfort. You need special care after the surgery. The giant tumors need removal as they cause nerve pain. It also makes it difficult to fit in the clothes. Therefore, you may feel self-conscious about your visual appearance.



It is a treatment that sucks out the excess fat from the body. So, it is ideal to remove the benign tumor to develop due to fatty cells. The procedure can reduce the size of the tumor considerably. So, the procedure uses a needle attached to a large syringe to suck the fat. Usually, the area gets numbed before the procedure. You can regain confidence as it makes the tumor seem small.

Steroid Injections

Injecting the steroid on the exact location of the tumor can provide you relief. The procedure may not remove it completely. But, the use of the injection can shrink the size of the benign tumor.

Preventing Lipoma

The benign tumors cause no harm to your health. So, it is not a dangerous issue that needs immediate medical attention. The low chances of lipomas to spread to other tissue makes it an easy-to-deal health complication. You may never face a life-threatening situation due to the benign tumors. But, it can affect your appearance. If you need to have a perfect outer appearance, then the fatty tumors can affect it adversely.


The normal self-care methods may not work for the fatty skin lumps. So, applying heat or ice packs may not prove effective. The methods may work well on other skin lumps. But, the fat-based lumps remains the same. Therefore, before trying the self-care methods, see a doctor. Your doctor can suggest some good techniques to get rid of the problem.

Well-Balanced Diet

A well-balanced diet can cut the risks of getting the problem. It is one of the most effective precautionary measures. The meals high in fat can lead to excess fatty tissue. So, limiting the food with fats and using alcohol can minimize the risk.

Include Exercises

Exercises can increase the heart rate and can digest the food easily. So, it can easily digest the excess fatty acid accumulation. By sweating, you can keep up your health easily. Include several workouts like jumping, running, and jogging to enhance your health. Therefore, including exercises can keep you healthy and prevent tumors from forming.

Handle Stress

Stress is the negative energy that can affect your body negatively. It can increase your sugar, pressure, and cholesterol levels. So, you need to learn stress handling techniques. It will keep your mind focused and your body relaxed.

The painless, fatty tumors need no specific medical treatment. You need not seek medical help unless it bothers you. But, following the above-mentioned points can ensure its prevention. Therefore, you can prevent dealing with the complication.


The fatty tumor formation under your skin can cause no danger to your health. The painless lipoma can disappear without any intervention. But, if you feel embarrassed or suffer from pain, then seek medical help. Your doctor can surgically remove the tumor. Therefore, it relieves the pain and eliminates the embarrassment associated with it. The tumor of cancerous nature is rare. But, it can affect your health. Therefore, seek your doctor’s help before it gets larger or painful.

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