You are here:

Dermatology/Walnut sized lumps under skin

Advertisement


Question
Ok so there are 2 walnut sized lumps deep under my skin (you have to press down to feel them) on my upper thigh/groin area. They are very painful to touch and sometime when I walk it hurts. I researched online and the only thing that came up was boils. I don't believe it's a boil because they're not discolored or red. It feels like a hard lump is under my skin, they're not perfect circles either. Could it be a cyst?

Answer
Could be lipomas.

A lipoma is a non-cancerous tumour that is made up of fat cells. It slowly grows under the skin in the subcutaneous tissue. A person may have a single lipoma or may have many lipomas. They are very common.

        
Lipomas
Who gets lipomas?
Lipomas can occur in people of all ages, however, they tend to develop in adulthood and are most noticeable during middle age. They affect both sexes equally, although solitary lipomas are more common in women whilst multiple lipomas occur more frequently in men.

What causes lipomas?
The cause of lipomas is unknown. It is possible there may be genetic involvement as many patients with lipomas come from a family with a history of these tumours. Sometimes an injury such as a blunt blow to part of the body may trigger growth of a lipoma.

What are the signs and symptoms?
People are often unaware of lipomas until they have grown large enough to become visible and palpable. This growth occurs slowly over several years. Some features of lipomas include:
A dome-shaped or egg-shaped lump about 2-10 cm in diameter (some may grow even larger)
It feels soft and smooth and is easily moved under the skin with the fingers
Some have a rubbery or doughy consistency
They are most common on the shoulders, neck, trunk and arms, but they can occur anywhere on the body where fat tissue is present.
Most lipomas are symptomless, but some are painful on applying pressure. Lipomas that are tender or painful are usually angiolipomas (adiposis dolorosa or Dercum disease). This means the lipoma has an increased number of small blood vessels.

Liposarcoma
Luckily the rare fatty cancer, liposarcoma, almost never arises in the skin. Liposarcoma tends to be deep seated and most often grows on thigh, groin or at the back of the abdomen. However, if your lipoma is enlarging or becomes painful, check with your doctor. A skin biopsy may be required.

What treatment is available?
Most lipomas require no treatment. Most lipomas eventually stop growing and remain indefinitely without causing any problems. Occasionally, lipomas that interfere with the movement of adjacent muscles may require surgical removal. Several methods are available:
Simple surgical excision
Squeeze technique (a small incision is made over the lipoma and the fatty tissue is squeezed through the hole)
Liposuction  

Dermatology

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Michael S. Fisher, <B>Ph.D., M.D.</B>

Expertise

published over 50 articles on the subject.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.