Do Lipomas Cause Pain?

Lipomas in hand

Lipomas are generally non-painful, benign (non-cancerous) growths of fat cells that develop just beneath the skin. Most people with lipomas do not experience pain or discomfort from these growths. Lipomas typically feel soft and moveable when touched and can vary in size.

However, there are some situations in which a lipoma may cause pain or discomfort:

  • Size and Location: If a lipoma grows to a significant size or develops in an area where it presses against nerves, muscles, or other structures, it can cause pain or discomfort. For example, a large lipoma in the back or shoulder area could potentially compress nearby nerves and lead to pain.
  • Infection or Inflammation: While lipomas themselves are not typically inflamed or infected, in rare cases, an infection or inflammation may occur in the tissues around a lipoma, causing pain, redness, and swelling.
  • Compression of Surrounding Structures: Lipomas can sometimes put pressure on blood vessels, nerves, or organs, depending on their location. This pressure can lead to discomfort or pain if it interferes with the normal function of these structures.
  • Rapid Growth: Although lipomas usually grow slowly, there are instances where they may grow more rapidly. Rapid growth can stretch the surrounding tissues and cause discomfort.

If you have a lipoma that is causing you pain or discomfort, or if you’re concerned about any changes in the appearance or characteristics of a lipoma, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare provider or dermatologist. They can evaluate the lipoma, determine its exact location and size, and recommend appropriate treatment options, which may include surgical removal if the lipoma is causing significant discomfort or if there are concerns about its nature.

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