What is a Lipoma?

LipomaHave you ever seen anyone with a weird lump of fat sticking out of their body and wondered what it was? The chances are good that it was an example of lipoma. You maybe wondered whether it was harmful or whether they needed to get it removed. Maybe you thought about what you would do if the same thing happened on your body. Well, this blog is here to help you answer those questions.

A Definition of Lipoma
Essentially a lipoma is a clump of fat located under your skin. It grows slowly and rarely hurts. While the bump itself is not very malleable, it will move if you gently poke it. Lipoma often feels like a ball of rubber somehow inserted under the skin.

It’s very important to note that lipoma is not cancerous. In fact, not only is it not cancerous, it is generally not harmful. This means that, unless it grows to be very large or (for some odd reason) is actually painful, you don’t even need to get it treated.

Where Does It Come From?
Doctors still don’t know what exactly can cause a lipoma to begin growing. Often, it is hereditary and inherited. It is not caused by being overweight. It’s not as if you are gaining weight and some of the fat just decides to all grow together in one place. Instead, there is something that triggers this growth, whether that is an injury, pure genetics, or some unknown factor.

Possible Treatments for Lipoma
Lipoma treatment, as mentioned above, is rarely required. A lipoma will never become cancerous. However, if it becomes painful, starts draining, or interferes with your day-to-day movement or life, you should look into the surgical removal of your lipoma. Even if you just don’t like the way it looks, like is a good enough reason for you to talk to your doctor about its removal.

Often, surgical removal (unless the lipoma is in an inconvenient area) is easy. It is an outpatient procedure that involves local anesthetic, simple fat removal through an incision, and stitching it closed.

If you have a lipoma and are thinking about getting it removed, talk to your physician about your options.

How To Do A Self-Exam For Skin Cancer

Skin CancerAs with any cancer, early detection ensures your best chances for a complete recovery. Skin cancer is no different. Finding the early signs of melanoma is crucial to diagnosis before the cancer spreads.

Some patients are more at risk of developing skin cancer than others. If you have two or more family members who have had skin cancer, be on high alert for warning signs. Regardless of whether or not you have a family history, visit your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • A suspicious mole or spot, particularly if it has changed in size, color, or shape
  • A new mole or spot, especially if it looks different than surrounding moles and spots
  • A mole that becomes itchy, bleeds, or develops a crust
  • A sore that never heals

In the meantime, self-examinations can be an effective way to find abnormalities as soon as they appear in an effort to treat any problem areas early. Try to give your body a thorough search every few months. For those who have never performed a self-examination, follow this step-by-step process:

  • Start with your face, as the area is largely in plain view. You may need to use a set of mirrors to check behind your ears.
  • Move to the scalp. With a blow dryer and set of mirrors, sift through your hair section by section. This may require help from a friend or family member.
  • Next, inspect from your elbows down. Check your palms and backs of your hands, moving up to the wrists and forearms.
  • In front of a mirror, lift and turn your arms to survey the upper arms and armpits.
  • Standing face-to-face with the mirror, peruse your neck, chest, and torso. Women should also lift their breasts to check beneath the folds.
  • Using a set of mirrors once again, turn away from the larger mirror to view your back and back of your neck with the hand mirror.
  • Continue to your rear end and backs of both legs.
  • Finally, sit down to check your genitals, fronts of your legs, feet, and soles of your feet.

In the event that a mole or spot develops, contact your dermatologist. We’re ready to take care of any issues before they become serious problems.