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Lumps of fat under the skin
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Lumps of fat under the skin

Dear Doctor,
I am a forty year old male in good health with no physical ailments. I have a concern regarding what appears to be lumps of fat (I can't think of any other way to describe them) all over my body just below the skin and above the muscle layer. There are more than forty of these "lumps" all over my body (arms, legs, back, side of body). The lumps vary in size from 1cm to 3cm in diameter. The lumps seem to be concentrated in areas where I have a lot of fat, such as around my waist, back, and on the side of my body half way between my underarm and waist. However, there are some lumps where there isn't a lot of fat, such as on my forearm or bicep area. I have had these lumps since I was a teenager and didn't worry about them because my mother had the similar condition. Two years ago, I had one of the lumps removed on my back because it was about 4-5 cm in diameter and gave me discomfort whenever I sat back on the hard back of a chair. The doctor told me afterwards that it was just deposits of fat and I had nothing to worry about. However, he could not tell me if my condition was common or why this is occuring or even if there was something I could do to prevent or reduce the number of these lumps on my body. Nevertheless, I am concerned even more these days because the lumps seem to be increasing in number. Doctor, please let me know what is causing this and if there is anything I can do to get rid of these lumps. Thank you very much in advance.
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow- my husband just had same-day surgery to remove one of his "fat lumps" which happen to be right next (onto) his intestine and causing him sporatic pain.  He is 42 years old, and has always had these lumps-and I belive he may have only around 8-10 around his body, not as many as you do, but they don't really bother him unless they are in spots that cause pain.  Therefore, the bad part of this, is that they can apparently be 'under the skin" and therefore an MRI and other medical tests have to be done to see what really is going on...all this money spent to diagnose a fat lump!
I wonder if it is hereditary- his mother has past away, but I will have to ask around at the next family reunion...
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,

A lipoma is a slow-growing, fatty tumor situated between the skin and the muscle layer that moves readily with pressure. Lipomas often occur in the neck, shoulders, back, arms and thighs. They could be several and persists for years and can occur at any age.  A lipoma is usually harmless. Treatment is not needed unless it  is painful or is growing and surgical resection is indicated. Recurrences are not common. Steroid injection and liposuction are other alternatives for removal. It is best that you discuss this with your doctor for proper evaluation and management.

Take care and keep us posted.
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Avatar_m_tn
I happened to noticed a similar lump on arm, but i'm afaraid to have it checked. I read some of the posts here and it seems no need to worry.
I noticed in 2003 and its grown to a marble in size since. Any suggestions for avoiding or preventing growing those lumps?...
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Avatar_m_tn
hi,
   i am 28 years old and have around 10 - 15 of these lumps mainly in my back and 1 in my arm. i have been to my doctor about this as i have not been able to have a full night sleep for months if i lay on my back and my doctor doesnt seem to bother about it. i am getting verry worried about them as the ones in my back hurt. it doesnt help that i get very paranoid about any kind of lump on my body and i am now feeling stuck. i dont know what to do about it and its getting me down. does anyone have any advice as to what i can do about this now and i suppose the only other option to me is to go private and have them removed.

regards, Chris.
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1516178_tn?1294827796
Hi Chris, Im a 35 yr old guy and I have had a couple of these lumps that you are describing. I have had one removed and the other comes out tomorrow. First of all dont panic. The removal process is quick and painless and I didn't even have to go to hospital for it, just my local clinic. You will be left will a small and barely noticable scar and a weight off your shoulders. Take it easy. Craig.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have more than 100 of these fat lumps. They are most visible on my arms, but most of them are located on my chest, stomach and back. Only my head, hands and legs from the knee and down are "clean". I am 41 now, and have had them for 25 years. New ones still appear. I have had a few removed by surgery. First one at the hospital and then i removed three at a private clinic. This leaves scars. The removed lumps have been analyzed, but nothing harmful is found.
I am rather athletic and during spring I work out so much that most of my ordinary waist and stomach fat disappears. This reveals dozens of lumps. It looks funny. Luckily I am not very vain, buth it still bothers me. Some of them can be painful, because I often lean into them.
Removing 100 lumps by cutting is out of the question. But I have been thinking that there should be other ways to remove this. Wouldn't it be possible to melt it in somehow? Or a combination of melting and liposuction. Has anyone heard of this?
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1600837_tn?1297581376
i have the same problem,i just want to know what will happen if i start to do gym ;will it reduces the lumps of fat / should i reduce the amount of fat consume or the amount of carbohydrates /
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Avatar_m_tn
I have the same problem, moreever I fell like neddle on my nerves area specialy arond the neck and down in my back . help me please.
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Avatar_n_tn
Not everyone gains weight the same way and we all have extra pockets where fat can deposit if the reservoir is full. My husband had them and with a little exercise and diet he never got them again.  No simple carbs and more complex carbs with a little of cardio and they are gone for good.
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Avatar_f_tn
I've had a few of these since I was 25, I find they get larger and have more of them as my body far percentage increases. I've recently put myself on a heavy exercise regime, swimming 5 times a week and yoga 3 times a week and after only 2 weeks I'm noticing a substantial reduction in the size of these lumps.  To give you some context my body fat was at 32% when I started and is now at 29%.
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Avatar_m_tn
what they are talking about is different
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Avatar_n_tn
I to have these fatty lumps on my body from teenage. But now their number is increasing. I recently went to a ayurvedic doctor who gave me some medicine and say all lumps will disappear in 3 months if I take the medicines regulaly.
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Avatar_m_tn
hi , iam 28 a nutritionist and  engineer by profession . i am also having this but now reduced very much . actually i became a nutritionist after these fats deposit only. (contact me  : ***@****)

   olly is 100% right , exercise , swim are ways to burn away fat in the body and consume  no fat food for some time will burn the fat deposit ....
same time take more carbo hydrate and protein food along with minerals and vitamin

but no to fats and cholesterol ....in any form through food or meat or oils or nuts for some days....  
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Avatar_m_tn
i do not believe this is the same kind of fat deposits that everyone is talking about.  Wonderful that your husband lost whatever fat that he had.  I was in my thirties and had one removed from my waist  because of pain.  incredible what i saw.  It looked like chicken fat.  But it was huge.  I couldn't believe that was in my body.  Today i am 54 and my body is covered with these awful fat deposits.  It is definitely hereditary.  My grandfather, aunts, uncles and my mom have them to.  I hate it.  I was told that there was nothing to prevent them.
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Avatar_n_tn
thank you doctor for the info i do have the same fat lumps for more than 20 years they never hurt is there any diet in food or any medicine or any way to dissolve these lumps ?
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Avatar_m_tn
hello sir. I am from India . Tamilnadu. I am also having these kind of lumps. are you taking that ayurvedic medicines. My mail id is ***@****. Pls tell me the details and the doctor details. pls. Thank you
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Avatar_n_tn
i have to ask about this medicine here in the united states does it work for you and how long did you use it before seeing results
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Avatar_f_tn
Could you please provide the details of the Ayurvedic medicine that you are taking? Who is the doctor?Thanks for your help. My email id is ***@****
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Avatar_f_tn
Is this the name of a medicine ( Ayurvedic ),,,, I have a lump on my bicep. quite big, probably the size of a golf ball... it bothers me because when you get all dressed up that is all I see. My doctor keeps telling me it is cosmetic surgery and I would have to pay for it !!!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree they must be talking about something different.  I have the same fatty tumors, so does my dad and 3 brothers.  Exercising and diet will NOT help.  I am a very athletic person with very little body fat.  Weigh 110 less than 8% body fat.  For about 8mo I even tried the steroid shots.  In only a couple of the tumors I noticed that they got a little softer and not as noticeable.  That was only a few out of about 45!  All of the little injections would cause bruising.  Decided to have just one of the larger ones removed to see how it does.  Was done in a dermatologist office and cost me $300!  It left a noticeable scare.  I'm still searching away to have them removed.  Being a nice looking, single female, I am very embarrased by all these bumps.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Similar symptoms as a number of you.  Many small non-tender lumps since teens (now 47 - male).  Father reports some and so allegedly did paternal grandfather.  Lumps aren't particularly bothersome and perhaps because I am quite overweight anyway not noticeable. Saw a doctor once who noted they were indeed lipomas as I thought they were cysts.  For what it is worth for a number of years have decided I must be a case of "familial multiple lipomatosis".  Can Google for more information. It is allegedly very rare but wondering if given the numbers of postings it is not rare at all but seldom diagnosed or, as in my case, just not a problem worthy of further treatment (at least so far).  Anyway, I add as didn't see anyone mentioning the "fml" part.  Good luck.  R.
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Avatar_m_tn
Just adding my weight to the idea that these are lipomas. I first started getting them in my early 20s, had a couple removed and tested, and now at age 46 I have about 40 of them all over my torso, with a few on my arms and legs. The ones that were tested years ago were just fat, and since I've had them so long, it's very unlikely they're dangerous. They are annoying since they seem to be increasing in number with age, but I've talked with my doctor and my brother (also a physician) and they confirm there is no known way to prevent these and the most effective treatment is surgery to remove them. Less effective is liposuction or steroids. If I were wealthy, I'd get them removed by a plastic surgeon, but I'm not going to pay a lot of money to have a body full of scars, only to see them come back later.

They are certainly a nuisance, but as far as I've found in researching this, they don't seem dangerous, don't increase your risk of something else dangerous, and are just one of the human body's quirks for some people.

I don't think they are as rare as the statistics say. I have seen or heard of too many people with these to consider them rare. I think they are just under-reported because they are relatively harmless.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello,
       can you mail me the name of medicene.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi,

I am 29 years old, I have the same lumps and about 5 years ago doctor told me the same thing - do not worry, its just fat, but now I am getting more and more of those.

If anyone have any medicine that you try, please share, and if you had them removed could you please post some pictures how big is the scars after.

Thank You
my email: ***@****
Please send some pictures of scars after lump removed.

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Avatar_m_tn
Hello. We have just found lump on my daughters back about the size of a deck of cards that we have been told is a fatty deposit. She just turned 4. We were also told  not to worry too much and just to keep an eye on it. I see many comments from people that they started getting them when they are teenagers and they have the conntinued to get them. I worry because she has one so young. I welcome any advice or opinions.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Have the same Lumps in my fore arm and stomach. I have consulted with one of my friend. he is a Ayurveda doctor in Canada. he recommended me "Kanchnar Guggul" Ayurveda medicine. I have to take one a day tablet for that. If you are interested you can consult to him or his wife they both are MD  and Phd in Ayuerveda.
His name is Suhas, and wife's name is Namrta
and their contact number is 7788614969
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Avatar_f_tn
hi im a 34yr old female who has at least 100 of these fatty lumps all over my body sum bigger than others ..i first notice 1 big lump on my thigh wen i was 15 ..since then it feels lyke they multiplyevery few months thy dnt botherd me untill its summer.. wen i wear shorts and singlet thy stand out bad and i even think thy gleem in the sun but i do see people stareing and talkn about me which just takes my cnfidence levels 2 a all tyme low .ive tryd goin to the doc who tells me dnt worry just notify him if thy start hurtn..ive got about 15 lumps on each forarm and wen i lift things that are straining my arms my lumps bruise and hurt 4 days...plz help i would really lyke to no more about these..is there anybody out there that no.s how to reduce them or is there any medicine out that cn take them away ...
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Avatar_m_tn
Look into Dercum's Syndrome. I have 100s of lumps to (angiolypomas) they say. And get a lot of other unexplained pains. It is a rare disease and even more rare in men. I dont know a lot about it yet, and neither do doctors lol. If it is dercum's cutting them out will not do much for you. They will either grow back or multiply in the area.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am 30 years old and I am very overweight. I have these lumps everywhere. Most noticeable are in my forearms and breasts. I also have one the size of a small watermelon above my butt. The one on my backside is very painful as are the others to touch. I thought it was fibromyalgia but after this research I am beginning to think different.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi iv'e been experiencing lumps in my back and they are very disconforting my back hurts alot  i can feel them in the middle of my ribs i can't sleep sometimes i'm afraid they will grow bigger and damage my vertebrae could we talking about the same lumps in the back i used to go to the sauna and was feeling better but then i stopped and is getting worst a doctor once told me it was bod fat i had xrays done but i'm afraid it will get worst
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Avatar_m_tn
I am 63 and have had these lumps mostly on my arms for a long time. I would love a way to break them up. I was overweight for a time but even losing weight does not help. Some are hard and some are soft. If anyone comes across some type of treatment besides surgery, please post.
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Avatar_m_tn
I also have the same problem. I have dozens of marble sized "fatty lumps" just beneath the surface of my skin but above the muscles. I know of thirteen in my abdomen alone. I also have 4 (known) in my left arm (one of them really large located just above my elbow joint). Recently I discovered 3 additional fatty lumps in my neck. The ones in my neck appear to be a little deeper than the others. Some of the lumps have been on my body for several years and all of them have got larger and harder. The ones in my arm are painful if touched in the wrong way. I informed the doctor that I wanted the ones in my left arm removed. But he refused stating that such a procedure was unnecessary because the lumps a "harmless." Regardless, it is gross and unsettling to have lumps growing inside your body without knowing why...  
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Avatar_m_tn
even i have the same problem ive had it from teen age now iam 22 the number has been increased from 2 to 5...!! recently one more occured on my chest..!! is accu pressure ok..??/
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Avatar_m_tn
I too having the same problem. having so many lumps on my hands, thighs and back side. i'm feeling uncomfortable with this lumps.
Could you please provide better prevention or good medicine for this problem
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Avatar_m_tn
my 13 year old son has a mushy lump on his head the pediatric surgeon said it is mushy beacause there might be an infection he wants to open it at scrape out what is there but then leave it open to heal he can not put stitches or it will not heal i am scared out of my mind he says he doesnt think it is anything bad but i would like to know if anyone has any information thank you
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Avatar_m_tn
I am 28 years old and have the same problem, and i hate them. Consulted with a couple of doctors about them and they told me that the best way is to forget about them unless they are really disturbing...

I truly believe that there must be a way to get rid of them, probably some herbs. Have anyone tried "Kanchnar Guggul" Ayurveda medicine as HussainNaqvi mentioned in an earlier post?

Let work as a team :-) try some herbs, and who knows maybe together we can find a remedy!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, I was researching this for my son who's 24.  He started getting these when he was in HS (and skinny at the time).  There are a lot more now, and they are really effecting his self esteem.  I saw on here some suggestions for Ayurvedic medicine which sounded more hopeful and less invasive than anything Western medicine has for it.  I just ordered some Kanchnar Guggul (as suggested by someone earlier in this conversation) for him.  Here's where I found it: https://www.****.com  Hopefully I will remember to come back on here to let you all know what happens after the bottle is gone (3 month supply).  I wish one of the earlier posters had come on here to let us know of their results.  Good luck everyone.
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Avatar_f_tn
The words that go in my link that they didn't allow are:  ayurvedicherbsdirect. ;)
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Avatar_f_tn
I can't believe someone reported my link.  I am not a spammer trying to sell herbs.  Everything I wrote in the post above is absolutely true.  I'm just trying to be helpful.  Get the ayurvedic herb combination yourself at another site, it doesn't matter to me... this is just where I found it.

Sincerely,
Kelly
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Avatar_m_tn
If I could attach a foto everyone would know my actual problem.  As it is I don't know that we are talking aobut the same thing. Descriiption is like the size and shape of a piece of gum (but harder than gum,  more like a penicl eraser feel)  under my skin on the forearm with no discoloration, no pain etc
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi all I have just read all your comments and some of you seem to have been told that there are not many people with these type of fatty lumps!  I have just noticed my son of 27 has started to have these up his arm and legs.  I will be trying the herbs for sure and shame on who ever reported that person for giving others hope. I would like to say that as a therapist myself I had a client who came to me with a fatty lump on her back over her spine around waist level.  As a concerned therapist I asked her if she new she had it and she replied that she had seen the doctor several times and was told it was just a rather large fatty lump. It must have been al least 4" x 3".  As a trained therapist in massage I worked on this as part of her back massage and after 3 treatments it started to diminidh in size and finally after say 6 or 7 massages had gone completely.  Has anyone tried this it may help, I am going to see if my son would like it done and I will post the results at a later date.
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Avatar_n_tn

Hello jcaussyn,q
 Wanted to comment back to you, with my experience. At about 10 my mother noticed a Lipoma about the size of a walnut on my back. You could only see it if I bent over or wrapped my arms around myself. It was between my shoulder blade and my spine. The doc told us the same thing, " nothing serious, just watch it" so we did. It never did cause me any issues since it was not that noticable even in a swim suit. At the age of 26 right after I was married it began to ache from time to time if I would lean on it the wrong way so I decided to have it removed. I had grown of course and so had it. It was about the size of an egg now, but still not that noticable because of it's location. I had out patient surgery and about a 5" incision. A few days after the surgery my left shoulder around to my collar bone was hurting. At 2 weeks post op. when I went to have the stitches removed I asked the surgeon why I was hurting there since the tumor was next to my shoulder blade on the left side of my back?. He said that Lipoma's are known for having long roots, and that he had pulled a root from my shoulder, also that I was fortunate that the root went up and not around the spine. So that is something to consider.
Since having that one on my back removerd in 1986 the only other issue I have had was in 1999 so 13 years later I developed a small one about the size of a walnut again on my outter left shoulder. It seemed to just appear overnight. I went in then at my Mother's request and had it removed within a few weeks of finding it. It did leave about a 2.5" scar barely noticeable anymore. I know with a 4 year old you hate to have scar's on their little bodies, but if it was my daughter, I would opt.to have it removed depending on it's location.
Hope this help's:)
Take care!
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Avatar_n_tn
I have the same problem as everyone here is discussing. I went to University of Maryland for my check up and doctor told me the same thing, Dont worry its just a fat and will go away. Its been 4 years since i visited doctor, it is increasing in number rather than decreasing. I went through all kind of doctors but non of them have any treatment beside surgery. I already have 2 lumps taken out as a sample to test for the doctors but it leaves scars.

Anyways, if anyone finds the treatment please post on this forum so that everyone here will be blessed. Thank You
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Avatar_f_tn
Any updates on whether the 3 month medication worked for anybody? I am 36 yrs old and noticed these lumps about 6 yrs ago when I started gaining weight, huge damper on my self esteem. My Dr told me not to worry about them and they would disappear after losing weight, lost weight and lumps are still there. Any updates or success stories would be greatly appreciated.
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Avatar_m_tn
hi i m Rahul i hav noticed dese lumps. . in my body few days ago n i i think i hav nearly 20 of these in my body.Actually i m doing jim excercise since 6 to 7 years but not soo regular just average 3 days a week .So Olly can u pls jusT tell me that if i am doing yoga n exercise evey day lik running , walking . . .n swimming .. . .soo will it wil be helpfull to stop these fat lumps from regenerating any more. Thanks Rahul.  email id rahul_daswani07***@****
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Avatar_m_tn
hi i m Rahul i hav noticed dese lumps. . in my body few days ago n i i think i hav nearly 20 of these in my body.Actually i m doing jim excercise since 6 to 7 years but not soo regular just average 3 days a week .So Olly can u pls jusT tell me that if i am doing yoga n exercise evey day lik running , walking . . .n swimming .. . .soo will it wil be helpfull to stop these fat lumps from regenerating any more. Thanks Rahul.  email id rahul_daswani07***@****
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello e.o.!!! I've had a half of a dozen lumps between my right and left arms for a bout 6 years, now. I have noticed any significant increase on them. Rather, sometimes it gives me the appearance a couple of them diminish in size back and forth... I have talked to my personal doctor, but pretty much I get the same response as most of you: nothing to worry about it. Unless I want to haven them remove because of personal reasons (i.e. shy about wearing short sleeve shirts most times), since most times there is none who comes and wonders about them: do they hurt, how come you got that.. etc) Somenone mentioned having them removed, but >does it really hurt? how long is the procedure about? is it expensive? are they re-current? Please help!!! >>> ***@****
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6320801_tn?1380307022
I am 35 years old, and I have a number of these things all over my body. As some have mentioned, I to get more of them, the more my body fat increases. I am extremely muscular, partly from genetics, and lifting weights my who life. Bit I keep getting these fatty lipomas, or deposits, or whatever they are. One Doctor kinda pulled my skin up, turned off the lights, and put the light up to my deposit. (You know, like when you were a kid, you shone a flashlight in your mouth, and your cheeks are all red?) Well, he said if we had seen some color, we would worry about it. But they are all red/clear when you shine the light up against my skin. I guess if there is dark colors in the deposit, it may be malignant
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Avatar_m_tn
I came across this site for the first time today.  It has been interesting reading all the comments.   I can tell you I experienced my first ‘lump’ in my early teens whilst still at school.  It appeared on my right forearm and has been with me all my life, I’m now 66.  Over the years more and more ‘lumps’ of varying sizes have joined that first one, mainly on my chest, stomach and the odd one in other areas like groin and upper legs.   I saw a skin specialist in my twenties who immediately dismissed them as ‘harmless Polyps’ and not to worry about them.  He could not explain how they develop or volunteered any treatment for removal.   Having been assured they were not life threatening I resigned myself to living with them.  They have been more annoying than troublesome.    When compared with the ‘obvious’ physical ailments suffered by many others throughout their lives I feel I’ve got off light.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Please look at this video and it may help you make a decision.  I am going to try it because there is no surgery involved.  I keloid really easty.  Good luck and tell me what you think.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/fat-burn-freeze-treatments-rid-fat-surgery/story?id=12868878

***@****
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Avatar_m_tn
When I was 10 years old I remember a physician taking a book and slamming it hard against the hand of a friend of mine to rid it of this type of fatty tissue.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have about four of these bumps on my body. I am begining to wonder if all the prescription drugs that are be thrown away aren't finding it's way back into our water supply. What about all the BPA and phthalates that many water bottles and soft drink containers are made of. I am 52 years old but see a lot of post here from guys in their twenties. I don't think people in their twenties should have this problem, it seems to be happening way to much. Plus you have all the food additives in processed foods which have many bad side effects too.
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Avatar_m_tn
Dude, I am like you!!!! Many, many lumps that sent me in panic mode.  I am very fit guy and they are visible, so ugly....I am 43 year old with 12% body fat, I exercise 6 day per week and ride bicycle, on my day off I am still active.... I am going for COOL SCULPTING procedure which actually freexes the fat which melts away after within couple to few months. I am so happy to let you know about this and hopefully it works for both of us!!!!!!!  
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks!!!!!! Thanks a million!!!!! I will try Kanchnar Guggul as I am so full of lumps on my stomach and back. Good luck to your son too!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
I have 1000s of small balls in my legs could it be the same.??
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Avatar_m_tn
l have the same problem with tiny lumps under the skin, and I am quite fit and have very little body fat. I was told by a Naturopathic Doctor tha t they Were toxin deposits collected in tiny beads of fat tissue. A complete body DETOX will get rid of most, and special massage to Start Loosening up these deposits. Eating organic, detox and lots of water is the key.

There are lots of controversial methods of detain one's body are out there on the internet, so make sure that you get your information from the right source and you are SUPERVISED by a naturopathic doctor during your detox.

There is a famous MD who only practices naturopatic medicine and CURES EVERYTHING, including all kinds of cancers. Her name is Dr Rima Laibow. She could be contacted via Facebook, or her various websites. Just do a search on her name, and her sites Will come, up.

l hope this helped. Good luck!
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Avatar_m_tn
Sorry about all the typos on my last post,.. it's hard to write On these tiny Keyboard on my phone. In 2nd paragraph, 1st now,.. I meant "There are Lots of controversial methods to DETOX one's body..." not "detain"one's body... LOL.
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Avatar_m_tn
1st Row... not 1st "now"
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Everyone,

Sorry I didn't get back with my son's results.  The medicine he took didn't help.  After the 1st bottle he said he didn't think it did anything, but when he ran out he thought they might have started getting worse so I ordered another bottle and we decided to double the dose to see what happened.  At that point he didn't feel it helped. Sorry to say. :(  The whole body detox sounds good that evadawn0304 was talking about.  Someone else mentioned massage earlier, that sounds like a good combination and she said it worked, so we'll look into that.

Thanks for your input evadawn. =)
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Avatar_m_tn
A lipoma is a non-cancerous (benign) fatty lump that usually causes no symptoms or problems. Most lipomas are small and are best left alone. However, a lipoma that develops under the skin can sometimes look unsightly. If required, it can be removed by a simple operation done under local anaesthetic.


What is a lipoma?

A lipoma is a soft fatty lump. It is a non-cancerous (benign) growth made up from fat cells that clump together. A lipoma can occur in any part of the body where there are fat cells.

LIPOMA -LARGE
Large lipoma on the back

Lipomas typically feel soft and can be felt to move slightly under your skin when you press on them.

Lipomas under the skin are the most common

Lipomas often form in the fatty tissue under the skin. These are also the most noticeable ones, as they look and feel like soft, dome-shaped lumps under the skin. They vary in size from pea-sized to several centimetres in diameter. The most common sites where lipomas develop are on the shoulders, the chest and the back but other areas of the skin can develop a lipoma.

Other parts of the body

Lipomas can less commonly form inside the body too. However, in most of these cases you will not be aware that you have a lipoma, as you cannot see them and they rarely cause any problems.

Who gets lipomas and how common are they?

Anyone can develop a lipoma at any age. Lipomas are common - about 1 in 1,000 people develop one or more lipomas. Some people inherit a tendency to develop lipomas and may have several on different parts of the body. Sometimes as many as 20 or more develop. However, it is more common to develop just one or two.

Lipomas can occur in people who are normal weight as well as people who are overweight.

What are the symptoms of a lipoma and are they harmful?

In themselves, lipomas are not serious and most lipomas cause no symptoms or problems. They grow very slowly. Sometimes a lipoma under the skin can be unsightly if it grows to be several centimetres across. Rarely, a lipoma may press on another structure and cause problems. For example, if one presses on a nerve it may cause pain. Also, rarely, a lipoma may develop in the gut wall and cause problems such as pain or a blockage of the gut.

Sometimes a scan or other investigation that is done for other reasons may detect a lipoma inside the body by chance. There is a condition called familial multiple lipoma in which groups of fat cells occur under the skin and then produce multiple fatty lumps. This is an uncommon condition and runs in families.

Note: lipomas are always benign. There is no scientific evidence that a lipoma increases the risk of developing a cancer in the future. However, lipomas can sometimes be mistaken for a cancerous tumour called a liposarcoma. These are usually large (5 cm or more in diameter) and grow rapidly. If you are concerned about a lipoma which has started to increase in size you should consult your doctor.

Do I need any treatment for a lipoma?

Usually not. If you are not bothered by a lipoma that develops, then it is best just to leave it alone. However, some people want lipomas that are unsightly to be removed for cosmetic reasons. For example, if they occur on the face.

Occasionally, a lipoma needs to be removed if it is causing symptoms such as pressure symptoms. Sometimes a lipoma inside the body is removed to look at under the microscope to make sure the growth that had been detected is a lipoma and not something more serious.

For a lipoma that forms under the skin, usually it can be removed by a simple minor operation. Some local anaesthetic is injected into the skin over the lipoma. Once the overlying skin is numbed by the local anaesthetic, a cut (an incision) is made over the lipoma. The lipoma is then removed and cut away from the underlying tissue. The wound is then stitched up. A fine scar will be left.

Steroid injections and liposuction are sometimes used as alternatives to surgery.

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Original Author: Dr Tim Kenny  Current Version: Dr Laurence Knott  Peer Reviewer: Prof Cathy Jackson  
Last Checked: 02/08/2013  Document ID: 4288  Version: 39 © EMIS




The Information Standard - certified member  Hope this helps a bit
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