What Are Lipomas?

A lipoma is a fatty lump most often situated between your skin and the underlying muscle layer. A lipoma, which feels doughy and isn’t typically tender, moves readily with slight finger pressure. Lipomas are usually detected in middle age, and some people have more than one.

A lipoma isn’t cancer and usually is harmless. Treatment generally isn’t necessary, but if the lipoma bothers you, is painful or is growing, you may want to have it removed.


What Are the Symptoms of Lipomas?

Usually, a lipoma has been growing for years before it becomes noticeable. It is fairly common to have more than one lipoma. If you notice a lump or swelling anywhere on your body, you should have it checked by a doctor; in some cases, a lump can be a sign of a more serious problem. Lipomas typically:

  • Are situated just under the skin, often in the neck, shoulders, back, abdomen, arms and thighs.
  • Feel soft and doughy. They move easily with slight finger pressure.
  • Are less than two inches in diameter, but can grow.
  • Can be painful if they grow, press on nearby nerves, or if they contain many blood vessels.

Tests are usually not needed to diagnose a lipoma. Dr. Wechsler can usually diagnose it just by examining the growth. She may, however, order an imaging study to confirm the diagnosis.

What Causes Lipomas?

Doctors don’t know exactly what causes lipomas to grow. They can occur at any age, but they often appear when you’re between 40-60 years old. Sometimes lipomas run in families; other times, they’re caused by an injury. 


Lipoma Treatment on UES

We treat a full range of skin conditions and address your overall well-being. If you have or think you may have lipomas, we have a number of effective treatment options to treat them.* For a consultation, contact us at 212-396-2500 or via email at

* Individual results may vary; not a guarantee.


We're happy to answer any questions you may have, feel free to call us at
(804) 775-4559