When to Worry About a Lump Under Skin?

lipoma causes and diagnosis

Finding a lump under your skin can pause most of your life. However, it is essential to understand that not all the lumps under your skin are worth losing sleep for. Bumps or lumps can appear under your skin under many circumstances. Lumps like cysts and swollen lymph nodes could be harmless. However, you must visit a physician or a doctor if you notice a change in the size or appearance of the lump.

In this guide, we will discuss when to worry about a lump under the skin and the causes of lumps appearing in your body. Although lumps are chiefly harmless, some specific traits may mean more, and when you need to contact a medical professional.

What Causes Lumps to Grow Under the Skin?

Doctors have yet to fully understand the reason for a lump’s sudden appearance under the skin. Sometimes, the causes of lumps can lie under the bloodline of your genetics. Some people may face one or more lipomas because of a faulty gene from their parents. However, this is rare and is popularly known as familial multiple lipomatosis.

Skin lumps can also appear due to several health issues ranging towards extremities. Some of the common causes that may be the reason for lipoma diagnosis are-

  • Trauma
  • Warts
  • Moles
  • Cysts
  • Corns
  • Cancerous growth
  • Chickenpox, a common childhood illness
  • Allergic reactions
  • Abscesses and boils
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Lipomas may also appear in people with these specific medical conditions. Such as-

  1. Cowden syndrome
  2. Adipose Dolorosa
  3. Madelung’s disease
  4. Gardner’s syndrome

Researchers have also figured out that some of the lumps may appear due to some injury on an area with a substantial effect on the area.

Lipoma Diagnosis Test

1. Diagnosis of lipoma

As you already know, lipoma diagnosis is often performed if you see a lump changing in appearance or size. If you are concerned about when to worry about a lump under skin, it's when you see the harmless lump changing its ways. Hence, if your skin shows some concerning lumps, visit a doctor immediately.

The physician may perform a physical examination, and if the diagnosis is not clear enough, they will send you for a lipoma test. The test includes ultrasound, MRI scan, CT scan, and or biopsy. The biopsy is a test with a sample of your tissue for lab examination.

Therefore, if your doctor examines and finds any concern with the lump, or you might want to remove it from your skin, they may refer you to a specialist.

Some lumps mainly appear as lipomas and can be cancerous, such as liposarcomas. These bumps are fast-growing and can be painful while staying fixated under the skin. Hence, you may be referred to a specialist for the best treatment for lipoma and diagnosis.

Some lumps that appear as lipomas can be cysts. They tend to grow closer to the surface of the skin and are firm to touch.

2. How to treat a lipoma?

Lipomas are not necessary to remove unless they cause pain or need any formal diagnosis. Some people might remove their lipomas if they are in obvious places and you are bothered by the look of it. The best treatment for lipoma is to use liposuction or cut it out through surgery, as you can not prevent it.

3. Complications of lipomas

Mostly, lipomas are small and do not cause any kind of complication or harm. However, they may cause complications if the large or compressed nearby nerves and structures.

Moreover, if a doctor removes lipoma, one may face possible complications of bleeding, scarring, or infection due to surgery. Sometimes, individuals might encounter a comeback of lipoma. If you see rare compilations like pain or growth of lumps, you should get it checked out by a medical professional.

When Should You Seek Medical Attention?

If you find a tiny growth under your skin, consult a doctor or health care provider. It is essential to rule out a lipoma test to consider other conditions, such as liposarcoma. It's a type of cancer and may show signs similar to lipoma.

Hence, if you find an unusual appearance of a lipoma under your skin and notice changes or sudden pain, consult your healthcare provider. Call your doctor immediately if you find the lipoma rapidly growing over weeks, starts to feel hard, and doesn't move when you touch it.

The doctor might check the lipoma for blood vessels, as it's a sign that shows on a rare type of painful lipoma named angiolipoma. Lipomas can also form inside your internal organs or muscles, which often causes pain and affects your muscles. Hence, if it is causing pain, you have to get it removed.

Some lipomas are rare and can be a type of cancer named liposarcoma. It's often painful and rapidly grows under your skin. Moreover, if you are concerned about its location or size, then consider looking for a doctor. Usually, these doctors can remove lipomas during an outpatient procedure, and you will be able to go home the same day. Lipomas rarely ever grow back once they are removed.


In conclusion, lipomas are small bumps that appear very commonly from time to time. These lumps can be very concerning, but keep in mind that all the bumps are not allowed and are not worth losing your sleepover.

While many lumps appear, such as swollen lymph nodes and cysts, these are typically harmless. However, it is vital to be attentive to the changes in appearance or size.

In this article guide, we made a thorough discussion over the causes of lipoma, how to treat a lipoma, when you should seek medical attention and a lipoma diagnosis test. This guide will give you a clear idea about what unusual appearance can cause a problem for you. It is essential to address any concern and ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.