Lipoma is a round or oval-shaped fatty lump under the skin. Lipoma is a benign soft tissue tumor and does not cause any harm. It usually develops slowly.
When touched, lipomas don’t feel hard or painful; instead, they move easily and have a rubbery feel. Lipomas are typically discovered in middle age. Although lipomas can develop anywhere on the body, they most frequently appear on the neck, arms, shoulders, back, and torso.
A lipoma is comprised solely of fat. Blood vessels or other tissues can also be found in some lipomas. There are many kinds of lipomas, including:
- Conventional: White fat cells are found in conventional lipomas, which are the most common kind. A white fat cell stores energy.
- Angiolipoma: This type has blood vessels and fat. Angiolipomas frequently cause pain.
- Fibrolipoma: This kind of lipoma is composed of fat and fibrous tissue.
- Hibernoma: This particular lipoma has brown fat in it. White fat is present in most of other lipomas. Brown fat cells provide heat and assist in controlling body temperature.
- Myelolipoma: Fat and blood-producing tissues can be seen in these lipomas.
- Spindle cell: The adipose cells within these lipomas exhibit a length greater than their width.
- Pleomorphic: Different sized and shaped fat cells can be seen within these lipomas.
Most lipomas do not require treatment, but if the lipoma bothers the patient, it cause pain, or is growing, healthcare provider may surgically removed it as an outpatient procedure.
Although lipomas are often painless, they can be bothersome if they are pressing on a nerve or appear close to a joint. A lipoma frequently goes unnoticed. Lipomas typically:
- Encapsulated: They do not spread to the tissues nearby.
- Pain: Depending on their location, size, and presence of blood vessels, some lipomas can be painful and uncomfortable. If a lipoma enlarges and presses on nearby nerves or if it has a large number of blood vessels, it may become painful.
- Shape: Round or oval-shaped lipomas are the most typical shapes. The rubbery lumps of fat are typically symmetrical.
- Size: Lipomas normally have a diameter of less than 2 inches (5 cm), however they can enlarge.
Lipomas are not often serious medical conditions. But the patient should see a doctor if they discover any lumps or swellings on their body.
It’s important to get checked out and rule out serious conditions, such as the cancerous disorder liposarcoma.
The reason why lipomas grow is unknown to healthcare providers. They are hereditary. If someone or a member of the family has a lipoma, the chances of developing lipoma increases.
Multiple lipomas can develop on the body as a result of some circumstances. Conditions that might lead to lipomas include:
- Dercum’s disease: Most frequently affecting the arms, legs, and trunk, this uncommon condition causes the growth of painful lipomas. Additional names for it include Anders’ syndrome and adiposis dolorosa.
- Gardner syndrome: a kind of familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), a condition that results in lipomas and a number of other health issues.
- Hereditary multiple lipomatosis: also known as familial multiple lipomatosis, is a genetic condition that runs in families.
- Madelung’s disease: Men who drink too much alcohol are more likely to develop Madelung’s disease. Lipomas develop around the neck and shoulders, also known as multiple symmetric lipomatosis.
The probability of getting a lipoma may be affected by a number of factors, including:
- Age: Lipomas can develop at any age, although they most frequently affect people between the ages of 40 and 60.
- Gender: All genders are at risk for lipomas, but women are significantly more likely to develop them than men.
- Genetics: Lipomas frequently run in families.