What Are Lipomas?

lipoma removal treatmentA lipoma is a soft, fatty, moveable lump which grows under the skin, often on the neck, chest, shoulders, back or arms. 

The size of a lipoma can range from that of a pea to a few centimetres across.

About 1 in 100 people will develop a lipoma at some point, so they are fairly common; although it is unusual to have more than one or two. Lipomas are the most common noncancerous soft tissue growth.

Lipomas can be triggered by injury and a tendency to develop them does run in families, but often they just seem to appear for no apparent reason.

Are They Harmful?

Lipomas are not painful unless they are in an awkward position which rubs or catches on clothing. The NHS deems that

It is harmless and can usually be left alone.

and says that

This is because the removal of a lipoma is regarded as cosmetic surgery, which is rarely available through the NHS. Generally, the NHS will only carry out cosmetic surgery procedures if the problem is affecting your physical or mental health.

Skin Surgery Laser Clinic can arrange private removal of lipomas with experienced doctors. There is no waiting list to worry about and clinics are based in London and Bristol.

Lipoma or Cyst?

Lipomas might appear to look similar to cysts – as a cyst is a sac under the skin which contains fluid (usually pus). Here’s how to tell the difference:

Where is it found?deeper under the skin

close to the skin’s surface
How does it feel?are soft and dough-likequite firm to the touch
How does it look?no inflammation usually occurs with a lipoma the skin may be inflamed (red and swollen)