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Merck Manual

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Quick Facts



The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision May 2020| Content last modified May 2020
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Topic Resources

What are lipomas?

Lipomas are round or oval lumps of fat that grow under your skin.

  • They're not cancer

  • They don't cause any problems, but you might not like how they look

  • Women are more likely to get them than men

  • They can be anywhere on your body

Lipomas are most likely to be on your:

  • Forearms

  • Chest

  • Stomach

  • Neck

What are the symptoms of lipomas?

Lipomas are smooth bumps under your skin. They can feel soft or firm, but not hard.

  • They're usually less than 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) wide

  • Normal skin covers the bump

  • You usually have only one lipoma, but some people have many

  • Lipomas usually don't cause any symptoms, but rarely they hurt a little bit

How do doctors treat lipomas?

Lipomas usually don't need treatment.

If there are changes to a lipoma, your doctor may take out a piece of it to look at under a microscope (biopsy).

If your lipomas bother you, doctors can remove them using:

  • Surgery

  • Liposuction (sucking out body fat with a machine)

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