Image of a lipoma
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A lipoma is a slowly growing body of fat that is most often found between your skin and the layer of muscle below. A lipoma that looks mushy and is usually not tender moves easily with light pressure from your fingers. Lipomas are usually detected in middle age. Some people have more than one lipoma.
Lipoma is not cancer and is usually harmless. Treatment isn’t usually required, but if the lipoma bothers you, is painful, or is growing, you may want to have it removed.
Lipomas can appear anywhere in the body. They are generally:
- Located just under the skin. They usually appear in the neck, shoulders, back, stomach, arms, and thighs.
- Soft and pasty to the touch. They also move easily with light finger pressure.
- Usually small. Lipomas are usually less than 2 inches in diameter but can grow.
The cause of lipomas is not fully understood. They tend to live as families, so genetic factors likely play a role in their development.
Several factors can increase your risk of developing lipoma, including:
Be between 40 and 60 years old. Although lipomas can appear at any age, they are most common in this age group.
Genetically. Lipomas tend to run in families.