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Have you ever noticed at sometime a soft, rubbery bulge under your skin in any part of your body? This could be lipoma and they happen when a lump of fat starts growing in the soft tissue of the body.

Lipoma though classified as tumours they are benign ones and harmless. Lipomas are the most common tumours under your skin. They are usually found on the upper body, arms and thighs.

What causes lipoma?

Generally it is not very well know about what causes lipoma. It is observed that middle aged men and women tend to get them and it is mostly a hereditary condition.

Lipomas appear after an injury, the can be inherited, a rare disease called Madelung’s disease can cause them. It is seen that lipoma mostly affects alcoholic men.

What are the symptoms?

The main symptom is the appearance of small and soft lumps under the skin. The lumps are usually less than 2 inches wide and sometimes more than one will develop.

When you press on a lump under the skin and it slips easily under skin, it is a lipoma. Normally such lipomas do not cause pain but if they bump against some nerves or have blood vessels running through them.

What are the treatments?

Lipomas are usually harmless and doctors will mostly ask the patient to leave them alone but keep a watch on it between visits. If it hurts or if you don’t like the look of it, you can have it removed.

The doctor will remove it surgically with a small cut. In most cases the person can go back home shortly after the surgery. Other treatments include using steroids to shrink the tumour and liposuction using a needle and syringe to suck out the fatty tissue.

Case of large lipomas

Lipomas if they are larger than 2 inches are called ‘giant lipomas’.  They can cause severe nerve pain or make you self-conscious about your looks. Sometimes lipomas will make it difficult to fit into your favourite dress.

These sort of ‘giant lipomas’ may require surgery under anaesthesia and a little longer stay at the hospital. Lipomas rarely come back and hence they may not cause any other disease in your body. If increase in size, change in colour of skin, painful, have to consult doctor immediately.


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