Lipomas are soft, fatty lumps that grow under your skin. They're harmless and do not usually need any treatment, but it's important to get any lumps checked by a GP.

Check if you have a lipoma

Lipomas are common.


A pea-sized lipoma under white skin.
Lipomas often appear on your shoulders, chest, arms, back, bottom or thighs.
A lipoma under the skin of the forehead of someone with white skin. The lipoma is a few centimetres wide.
You can also get a lipoma in other places, such as your forehead.

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:

  • you get a lump anywhere on your body
  • a lump is painful, red or hot to touch
  • a lump is hard and does not move
  • a lump increases in size

A GP will usually be able to tell if the lump is a lipoma.

If there's any doubt, they may refer you for a scan to check it.

In rare cases, lumps under your skin can be a sign of something more serious.

Getting a lipoma removed

Lipomas are harmless and do not usually need to be removed. They would only be removed on the NHS if it was growing or causing symptoms because of where it is.

If you have it removed it may be sent to a laboratory to check it is a lipoma.

You can pay to have a lipoma removed at a private clinic, but it may be expensive.

A GP can give you advice about where to get treatment.

Page last reviewed: 25 July 2023
Next review due: 25 July 2026