A lipoma is a harmless lump of fat. There are several types, usually classified by where they appear. Lipomas may occur anywhere and are commonly are found just beneath the skin.
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Factors that increase your chances of developing a lipoma include:
Lipomas are usually soft, painless, moveable lumps under the skin. They usually don't cause symptoms.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The diagnosis is usually based on smoothness, softness, and ease of movement under the skin. Your doctor may do a biopsy to rule out other skin conditions.
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. You may want to leave the lump alone. Treatment options include:
American Society of Dermatology
American Academy of Family Physicians
The Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons
Lipoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what . Updated September 28, 2011. Accessed June 4, 2013.
Lipomas. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy website. Available at: http://www.merckma... . Updated February 2012. Accessed June 4, 2013.
Lipoplasty. American Society of Plastic Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.plastic... . Accessed June 4, 2013.
Salam GA. Lipoma excision. Am Fam Physician . 2002;65:901-904.
Last reviewed June 2013 by Brian Randall, MD
Last Updated: 5/11/2013