Fatty clusters forming under the skin, lipoma often arouses great anxiety, but which are unfounded: this tumor is benign, and never evolves towards cancerous forms.
Depending on its location, the lipoma can nevertheless represent an aesthetic discomfort, and in rare cases, cause pain. Different options can then be envisaged to treat it. Let’s see.
Grease button: benign tumor
The fat button, or lipoma, is a mass made up of adipose tissue:
- It develops under the skin and usually appears in the arms, trunk or neck.
- The lipoma is sometimes formed at the level of an internal organ, it is then unnoticed in most cases, its presence causing no particular symptoms.
- In most patients, only one lipoma is present on the body. In 8 cases out of 10, it measures less than 5 centimeters but its size can reach ten centimeters.
These grease balls are not dangerous, but can be unsightly, especially when they appear on exposed areas of the body. In rare cases, they are painful, as they compress the surrounding tissues as they develop.
Good to know : some lipomas develop in the mouth (lipoma lingual) or at the front (frontal lipoma).
Unrecognized causes of the fat button
The reasons which lead to the anarchic development of fat cells in a particular place are not known. Some researchers believe that the fat button could result from an injury, but this hypothesis is not formally validated.
A genetic disease, lipomatosis, causes the formation of many lipomas on the body. In this context, the consumption of alcohol is a factor favoring their development.
Grease button: diagnosis
The dermatologist is able to make the diagnosis by simple palpation:
- The lipoma appears very soft to the touch, deformable when pressed with the finger. Its contours are regular.
- It rolls under the skin, which distinguishes it from a malignant tumor, which is immobile because it is incrusted in the tissues.
If the specialist has any doubt as to the nature of the mass, a biopsy may be performed to examine the structure of the tissues and rule out the presence of liposarcoma, a cancerous tumor from fatty tissue resembling lipoma.
Grease Button Treatments
As the lipoma does not present any particular danger, it is not essential to treat it. However, if it is troublesome or painful, different therapeutic solutions can be envisaged to eliminate it:
- Injecting corticosteroids directly into the fat mass to reduce its volume.
- Liposuction of its contents, thanks to a cannula directly inserted in the greasy cluster. This technique has the advantage of leaving only a small, very discreet scar.
- The total removal of the lipoma, with its envelope, surgically, under local anesthesia. This method minimizes the risk of recidivism. The act is particularly suitable for the elimination of small superficial lesions delineated, more delicate in case of deep lipoma that infiltrates in the neighboring tissues.