- by Medikoe Health Expert
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- Jan 08 2018
WHAT IS LIPOMA?
A lipoma is a harmless deposit of fat under the skin that is typically found on the neck, back, shoulders, abdomen, arms, and thighs. A lipoma feels soft and is not painful, making it easier to diagnose than other skin problems. They are classified as benign growths or tumors of fatty tissue which means they are not cancerous and is rarely harmful. In rare cases, a lump may be a type of cancer, called a liposarcoma, which grows rapidly and can be painful. Lipoma is pale, colorless, less than 2 inches wide and grows slowly and it is painful if it grows into nerves underneath the skin.
Lipomas bigger than 2 inches are sometimes called “giant lipomas”.
Cause of lipoma is not clear, middle-aged men and women tend to get more and they run in the family.
Certain conditions may increase the risk of lipoma development. The conditions are:
• Adiposis dolorosa (a rare disorder characterized by multiple, painful lipomas)
• Cowden syndrome (which is characterized by benign tumors, skin tags, and large head size)
• Made lung’s disease (a rare condition marked by lipomas forming around the upper body)
• Gardner’s Syndrome (a condition that causes benign tumors to form)
Doctors can often diagnose a lipoma by performing a physical exam. It feels soft and is not painful.
In some cases, a dermatologist might take a biopsy of the lipoma to check whether it is cancerous or non-cancerous. If a biopsy shows that a suspected lipoma is actually a liposarcoma then MRI and CT scans are done.
Lipomas are rarely harmful, but a dermatologist can remove them if they bother and they rarely come back once removed.
Since lipomas are fat-based, this procedure can work well to reduce its size. Liposuction involves a needle attached to a large syringe, and the area is usually numbed before the procedure.
Steroid injections may also be used right on the affected area. This treatment can shrink the lipoma, but it doesn’t completely remove it.
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