Q:

What causes lipomas in humans?

A:

Quick Answer

The exact cause of lipomas in humans is still unknown. Individuals with a family history of the condition are at a greater risk of getting it, notes WebMD.

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Full Answer

Lipomas are fatty growths that appear on the skin. They are not cancerous and rarely cause any serious health issues. They can affect various parts of the body, including the neck, back, stomach, thighs and arms. While these growths may affect individuals of any age, they most commonly affect those between 40 and 60.

Individuals with disorders such as Cowden syndrome, Gardner's syndrome and adiposis dolorosa are equally at a risk of getting lipomas. To correctly diagnose this condition, a doctor may have to take a tissue sample for laboratory testing. Physical examination and imaging tests may be necessary to ascertain the condition.

These growths may develop quite slowly over the years and cause no pain. They generally remain small in size and feel soft to touch. They may either be pale or colorless. Treating lipomas is not necessary since they pose no health risk. However, if this condition is a bother or develops pain, doctors may be able to treat it, notes Mayo Clinic. Liposuction, steroid injections and surgical removal are some of the most common treatment options available for the condition.

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