Lipomas are lumps found beneath your skin, and they are typically harmless. But many people find them uncomfortable and would prefer to have them removed. At Florida’s Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center in Windermere, we can remove your lipomas – and make sure they are not another condition that could be more serious.
To learn more about lipoma diagnosis and treatment, or to make an appointment, contact Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center today.
What Are Lipomas?
A lipoma is a fatty lump which grows slowly over time. It is most often found under your skin, but above layers of muscle. Lipomas can feel mushy, but typically are not tender to the touch. Lipomas are most common in middle-aged patients.
Lipomas are not cancerous and usually not cause for concern. But if a lipoma is bothering you or making you feel uncomfortable, our team led by Dr. Jeannette Hudgens can remove this growth.
Some typical aspects of lipomas include:
- They can occur anywhere on your body.
- They are found just below your skin.
- Lipomas are commonly found on the shoulders, neck, abdomen, back, thighs and arms.
- They are soft to the touch and will move if you press them with your finger.
- They are small, usually less than two inches wide. They can grow larger over time.
- They can hurt. Lipomas can turn painful if they press on nerves.
When to Make an Appointment
Again, lipomas are typically not serious medical conditions. But whenever you see or feel a lump on your body, it’s time to see a doctor.
At Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center, Dr. Hudgens and our medical team can determine if your lump is indeed a lipoma and then recommend the safest and most effective treatment. What causes lipomas is unclear, but they often run in families.
There are a number of risk factors for developing lipomas. They include:
- Being between age 40 and 60. Lipomas can develop at any age, but are most common in middle-aged people. Children typically do not develop lipomas.
- Having other conditions, such as Cowden or Gardner’s syndromes.
- Family history of lipomas.
There are a number of methods to diagnose lipomas, including routine physical exams and tissue biopsies. Ultrasound or MRIs may be needed if lipomas are larger than normal or have other unusual features.
In rare cases, lumps that appear to be lipomas may in fact be a cancer called liposarcoma. That’s when ultrasound and other tests may be needed to rule out cancer.
While most lipomas don’t require treatment, you can have them removed if they are painful, or if you are simply bothered by their presence.
Lipomas can be removed surgically, a minor procedure in most cases. And in most cases, lipomas will not return after they are taken out. In some cases, steroid injections can be used to shrink the lipoma. Plastic surgeons may also use liposuction as another technique to remove lipomas.
If you have a fatty lump under your skin, it’s always wise to get it checked out by a doctor. At Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center, our medical team can diagnose lipomas and other skin conditions and offer the best treatment available. Contact our Windermere office today to schedule your appointment.