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Health Information Center


  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:



(Fatty Tumor)


A lipoma is a harmless lump of fat under the skin. They can form anywhere on the body

Benign Tumor.

benign tumorhttp://services.epnet.com/getimage.aspx?imageiid=71757175benign tuomr.jpgbenign tumorNULLjpgbenign tumorNULL\\hgfiler01a\intellect\images\benign tuomr.jpgNULL48NULL2008-06-27308307Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


The cause is not known. It may happen after an injury.

Risk Factors

Lipomas are more common in people 40 and 60 years OLD. They also tend to run in families.


Lipomas are soft lumps that may move when touched. They often do not cause problems unless they press on a nerve or have many blood vessels.


The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the lump. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.

A biopsy may be done to make sure it is not another problem. Images may also be taken. This can be done with CT scan or MRI scan.


The lump does not need to be treated unless it causes problems or the person wants it removed. This can be done with:

  • Injections to make the lump smaller
  • Laser treatment
  • Liposuction to remove the fat
  • Surgery


There are no current guidelines to prevent lipoma.





  • Common benign skin lesions. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/common-benign-skin-lesions. Accessed May 26, 2022.
  • Lipoma. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology website. Available at: https://www.aocd.org/page/Lipoma. Accessed May 26, 2022.
  • Lipomas. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic-disorders/benign-skin-tumors-growths-and-vascular-lesions/lipomas. Accessed May 26, 2022.
  • Moreno-Ramírez D, Ruiz-Villaverde R, et al. A. process of care for patients with benign cysts and tumors: Consensus document of the Andalusian Regional Section of the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (AEDV). Actas Dermosifiliogr. 2016;107(5):391-399.


  • April Scott, NP
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.