What is a lipoma?

At Dermatology Consultants of Short Hills, our providers see patients with a wide range of skin concerns. One concern that patients may have questions about is that of a lipoma. Our team can evaluate your skin and provide you with a proper and definitive diagnosis before discussing possible treatment options. Learning more about lipomas can help you in making an educated decision regarding the best way to move forward with treatment for this or other skin developments.

What is a lipoma?

A lipoma is a growth of fat cells in a thin, fibrous capsule. They are commonly found just below the skin but can occur anywhere in the body. Lipomas are usually benign (not cancerous) and slow-growing.

How can I identify a lipoma?

Lipomas can range in size from a few millimeters to several centimeters. They are usually soft and rubbery to the touch and are not usually painful. However, if they grow larger, they can press on nerves or other tissues and cause pain or other problems.

Who is at risk of getting a lipoma?

Lipomas are relatively common, affecting up to 1 in 100 people. They tend to be genetic and are more common in middle-aged adults. Lipomas are more common in women than men.

What causes a lipoma?

The cause of lipomas is unknown. However, they are thought to be due to a genetic predisposition.

How is a lipoma diagnosed?

A lipoma is usually diagnosed based on a physical examination. Your doctor may order imaging tests, such as an MRI or CT scan, to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other conditions. If the skin around the lipoma is a reason for concern, our team may recommend a biopsy, during which a sample of the skin is removed and evaluated to determine if skin cancer cells are present.

How are lipomas treated?

Most lipomas do not require treatment and can be left alone. If they are large or cause pain or other problems, they can be removed with surgery. Liposuction is also a possibility for some people. There is also a new, non-surgical treatment called cryolipolysis, which involves freezing the fat cells. This treatment is not yet FDA-approved for lipomas, but our team can discuss this option with you if it is something you are interested in.

Request an appointment with our team today

At Dermatology Consultants of Short Hills, we understand that any new skin concern can be worrisome. Our providers take the time to fully evaluate your skin and provide you with a definitive diagnosis before discussing treatment options. If you have any concerns about a growth on your skin, please call our office to schedule an appointment in Short Hills, NJ, at 973-232-6245.

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