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

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

Risk Factors

Lipomas are more common in people who are between 40 and 60 years of age. 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 your symptoms and health history. 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 confirm 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.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD
  • Review Date: 09/2019 -
  • Update Date: 11/22/2019 -