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Lipoma – Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, Removal, Treatment

Written by Dr.Mary

What is a Lipoma?

This is a very slow growing, fatty lump normally found situated between the skin and the muscle layer underneath the skin. Most often a lipoma is very simple to identify since it will easily move if there is any pressure on it. When touched it is very doughy and normally not tender. There may be more than one. They can develop at any age but most often occur during mid life.

A lipoma is not a cancer and is typically not dangerous.

Lipoma Symptoms

Lipomas are usually found on back, neck, arms as well as shoulder, but they can develop on any other part of the body. Additionally, men are most likely to develop multiple lipomas than woman, although either sex is more equally likely to have single developments.

Lipomas are:

  • Located right underneath the skin.
  • Soft as well as doughy to the touch.
  • Commonly small. But, they can grow larger.
  • Occasionally painful. They are painful if they grown and press on any nearby nerves or if they contain many blood vessels.

Several features can add to the risk of developing a lipoma, including:

  • Between the ages of 40 and 60 years of age. They are most frequently found in this age group.
  • Having other disorders. Individuals with these disorders including adiposis dolorosa, Bannayn-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome, Madelung disease, Cowden syndrome as well as Gardner syndrome seem to have increase frequency of developing multiple lipomas.

A lipoma is very rarely a severe medical problem. But when you notice a swelling or lump any place on your body, it needs to be checked by your primary care physician.

Often, the most troublesome symptom is the location or the increase in size which makes the lipoma obviously noticeable by others.

There are various lipoma types including:


Solitary and involves connective tissue, along with blood vessels and fat.


Causes lots of pain and has all the typical characteristics of a lipoma as mentioned above

Neural fibrolipoma

This lipoma pressurizes nerves

Intradermal spindle cell lipoma

Affects women and grows on the neck, trunk and head.

Spindle-cell lipoma

Mostly prevalent in men and grows on back, shoulders and neck.

Chondroid lipoma

Type of lipomas that grows on legs of women, are yellowish and deep seated.

Pleomorphic lipoma

Types of spindle cell lipomas mostly affects old men and can be id’d by floret giant cells.



A tumor of fat tissue or adipose tissue

Lipoma Causes

The cause of a lipoma actually is not known. Many experts believe there is a link which is genetic to their growth since they are prone to run in families. Additionally, injuries such as a blow to the body appear to trigger their growth.

Lipoma Treatment

To make a certain diagnosis of a lipoma, your physician will do the following:

  • Physical exam
  • Tissue sample removal or biopsy for lab exam
  • Ultrasound or other imaging tests for instance a CT scan or MRI especially if the lipoma is large, has unusual features or appears to be deeper than the fatty tissue.

There is a slight chance that a lump which resembles a lipoma can actually be a kind of cancer known as liposarcoma. Liposarcomas – cancerous tumors in fatty tissues that rapidly grow do not move under the skin and are normally painful.

Lipomas do not normally require any treatment. Since they are not cancerous tumors and can not become cancerous, it really is not necessary to remove them. There is no treatment known to prevent them or affect their growth. But surgically removal is recommended if any of these symptoms develop:

  • Become tender or painful
  • Become inflamed or infected repeatedly
  • Drains discharge which is foul-smelling
  • Interferes with function or movement
  • Increases in size
  • Becomes bothersome or unsightly

Lipomas may be eradicated in the physician’s office or also in an outpatient surgery center. The physician will inject a local anesthetic around the lipoma, then make an incision in the skin, remove the growth and close the incision with stitches. If the lipoma is in an area that may not be easily reached with a simple incision thru the skin, the lipoma might need to be removed under general anesthesia in the operating room.

Other methods of removal besides surgical include:

Steroid injections

This treatment shrinks the lipoma but normally does not completely eliminate the tumor.


This treatment uses a large syringe and a needle to remove the fatty lump. But it is rather difficult to remove the entire lipoma.

There are several herbal remedies for lipoma and they include:


Chickweed tincture may be obtained at any herbal store. Take 1 teaspoon of this 3 times each day. It might be more effective to obtain a chickweed ointment at the herbal store to rub directly onto the affected area of the skin. Apply this ointment once a day. If this doesn’t help either by shrinking the lipoma or eliminating the discomfort, try another herbal remedy.


Bitter herbs and foods will increase the body’s ability to digest fats which is exactly what a lipoma is. The bitters stimulate the gallbladder and liver which speeds up the ability to metabolize fat. Bitter herbs include yarrow, gentian, wormwood, rue, golden seal, centaury, southernwood as well as boneset. Bitter foods include olives, dandelion greens, unsweetened chocolate or citrus peel.

Lemon Juice

Add lemon juice to the water that you drink. Lemon juice eliminates toxins from the body by strengthening as well as stimulating the digestive system and purifying the liver.


Apply a cedar ointment on the affected area of the skin 3 times a day. Combine 5 drops of cedar extract with a couple of teaspoons of water and drink 3 times day. Then massage the ointment into the skin where the lipoma is.

Lipoma Pictures

  1. Thank you ;the info was very helpful to me.

  2. I have lipoma at my back bone just at vest. I am facing many problems and serious pain in back, neck. legs, heels and in over all body. I cant sit and also can not sleep properly. This information helped me a lot for proper medication. Thanks again

  3. Thank you this is very good information.

  4. This information was very helpful and explained many of the symptoms what I was going through,It’s good to know that I’m not the only one suffering in pain alone in silence .

  5. Hi my husband has a lipoma on his forearm and on his lower back he has had them for a couple years now and it has not bothered him however a few days ago he developed one on his left chest region close to the aureola it is very painful what are the chances that this one is cancerous? Also can you tell me if the formation of more lipomas is possible.

  6. I have a lipoma on my forehead. I am getting it removed next week. I am scared because of it being on my forehead.

  7. My mother had lipoma on your backbone. It existed as a very small growth for over 30 years and had to be removed when it began big in size and painful. It was a small surgery for about 20 mins and she was fine after that.

  8. This is a very good information to know about the cause of the problem.

  9. I have a lipoma on my upper back, merging to my neck about 4″ wide and 5″ long. I just noticed another barely growing by my upper chest bone and the right side of my neck looks more fat than my left side. I will not take off my shirt at the beech. I don’t have insurance. I am 5’8″ and weigh about 210. I guess I should loose lots of weight and save some money for surgery but I am going to try those herbal remedies first. Thank you for the advice.

  10. I have many multiple lipoma’s in my body. So Please what is the proper treatment and treatment cost and time?

  11. i have a lot of lipomas in my arms , how can I decrease lipomas in my arms and how to control this type of lipoma.

  12. I have many lipomas throughout my body, some are painful, some are not. I have been diagnosed with Dercums Disease – this is basically painful lipomas. The only way to get rid of them is to have them surgically removed. If you choose this, be cautious that the lipoma must be removed completely, otherwise it will grow back quickly and much worse.

  13. Thanks very much. I have a lipoma on my back. 1inches from my spine. It doesnt hurt and it doesnt move when In put pressure on it. Your info had educated me when I go to the Dr. In my country you need all the info you can get, because our medical system is of no use.

  14. I have suffered with lipomas for 33 years, in the last several years, I have had 7 surgically removed due to intense pain/discomfort. 2 on my chest, 3 on my arms, and 2 on my lower back. the smallest, on my lower back was the size of a pea, and pressed on the sciatic nerve, affecting my left leg, and rotation movement in my back. A 30 minute operation under local anesthetic, improved my life by an immeasurable amount.

  15. i have many lipoma in my body .is it cure in medicine?

  16. I have one on my back neck. And it is large in size. Im going to operate it may be next month. However, i will try the remedy as early as possible. Thanks.

  17. i have lipoma for over 12 years ,does not give any concern,painless,i think is becoming obvious when i wear slimfited cloth,should i go for an operation?

  18. I have a lipoma on the back of my neck. It has been there for three years. Within the last six months, it has grown in size and it is very painful. My neck stiffens up sometimes and i get frequent headaches. My doctor said that the lipoma is not causing my headache, but i beg to differ. I am considering getting it removed because i can’t turn my neck in the direction of the lipoma. It is big and ugly and i can’t take it anymore.

  19. Thanks for all the imput HOWEVER make sure it is a lipoma and Not CTX, I have both CTX is a lipid storage disease in the leukodystrophy family there is meds

  20. My daughter she is 13 years old has lipoma all over her arms they are getting bigger. What can i do for her? She is very active in sports and we are worried. It could affect her ability to have a normal live.

  21. Hi to all viewers of this article..
    I have lipoma tumor on my body mainly on both arms, thighs and at abdominal side. I have more than twenty tumors on my body. After reading this..I’m totally tension free as it is not cancerous and cant convert into cancer. thanks

  22. you better go. I had mine on my back neck, i took it out last Friday in hospital it is not painful to take it out and i am at work today.

  23. I have lipoma allover the body. Pain less but i got lipoma on liver also. that causes liver disorder some time. i am facing problem for that. I need help?

  24. thank you giving such a good informations..

  25. I am in my early 60’s and have suffered with these things for years. I have had several removed 12 in all and find now that I have at least another 15 to be removed some of which are painful. My first one appeared when I was 19 years old after someone slammed a door into my back and the handle hit me in the middle of my back. If I had the money I would have them all removed by liposuction but alas they have to be removed singularly. No-one else in my family suffer with these little critters siblings or my children. On my arms they are quite large and are quite noticeable.


  27. This is the first one I have had and am just waiting for an ultra scan, it is at the top of my right leg and feels numb but keep getting shooting pains down leg

  28. I have many small lipoma in my body parts like hands, my back, neck i don’t know what to do, but i concern to my family doctor and she said its not a big issue to worry and she did not prefer me any medicines, but i’am still worried about lipoma and the growth of lipoma in my body

  29. I am 41years old and have never suffered with Lipoma…I noticed what i thought was a spot that seem to get bigger and bigger?? its now a large soft lump about 5″ round on back of neck near middle.. I have suffered with this for over a year now complaining to my doctor some 6 times to get this removed as it has got bigger and bigger.. I am also suffering from severe tiredness all the time? my lower legs ache from the shins down and around my ankles, i have full blood tests all come back totally clear yet still tired all the time?. I am due to have General Anasetic in January 2012 to have this removed just hope aches and pains/tiredness go too??

  30. I have multiple small in size lipoma over right and left arm i want to know treatment of to prevent growth of lipoma

  31. I’m a student and this really increased my knowledge about lipoma!!!

  32. I have one growth in my right eye – slowly growing (about the size of a pea) and now a small growth starting in my left eye. Anyone else have these cycts in their eye?

  33. I just got extracted one compressing right hand radial nerve with impingement. It is benign and surgery helped.

  34. I was told I have a bakers cyst behind my right knee, and a 1 inch lipoma behind that, not palpable but seen on an ultrasound. I am now told I need an MRI to rule out anything more serious. Why didn’t I get the MRI first.

  35. A year ago I noticed a large 5″ x 6″ lipoma on the front of my left thigh. It doesn’t hurt but is rather unsightly. Neither my doctor or my dermatologist had any advice as to what to do about it. Does anyone have any comment?

  36. Thanks for the good information, but need a permanent remedy.

  37. harjeet kaur Rahi

    Many-many thanks for your this kind information.

  38. I have a large Lipoma 4×4 in size.
    I was due to have surgery in December, it was postponed because I developed a cold. I was reluctant to have the surgery done,and I am glad I waited. I will try some of the alternative treatments you recommended. thank you.


  40. Thanks for the info. I am 34 years old and have had lipomas since my late teens. I have several all over my body. But for the last 10 years or so have had bad back pain, lower back has several lipomas and am going to get them checked to see if having them removed will relieve my back pain.

  41. Thanks! The information about lipoma really cleared all my doubts.

  42. lipoma is cured 100 % with homeopathic treatment,
    and what ever inf is given in this site is very useful, and thanks to co coordinator,
    dr nirav d dave

  43. I went to see a doctor today regarding a lump above my navel. She told me that it was a LIPOMA and it was nothing to worry about. Everything she said is here in this information.

  44. I have a large one on my right inner thigh…..it is not painful but it is uncomfortable because on thigh is bigger than the other and it is visible through my clothing….any suggestions on what to do?

  45. I’m going get married next year. My fiancee has so many lipoma’s all over his body. I want to know if it is dangerous for me and for my baby in future..?

  46. Hi, I just found out that i have lipoma tumor in my fatty tissue close to my heart… that means its more of a risk to be cancerous. I am very concerned about my health because its bad already. Should I be attending treatment? It sticks outta my skin like 1 cm. Let me know what i should do please asap. Its also very painful, doughy and does not go in when I lay down!!!

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