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4 year old having lipoma since birth. It is getting sore, hard and red. Any ideas?

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General & Family Physician
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My 4 year old has had a lipoma since birth and it's caused him no problem but since yesterday he's been complaining of it being sore and it's gone hard red and swollen being a natural born worrier I am now panicking - any ideas?
Posted Fri, 3 Aug 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 12 minutes later
Thanks for writing in.
I understand your concern. While lipomas are usually harmless and do not need removal, they do become infected or inflamed in certain cases , where they need to be removed once we take care of the infection.
In your son's case, I think the lipoma has become infected and the following will help:
a. Apply warm compresses to this area.
b. To reduce the pain you can give him Children's Motrin 1.5 tsp every 6-8 hours with food. This needs to be given only till he has the pain
c. He needs to be started on a course of oral antibiotics like amoxicillin-clavulanate or a cephalosporin.
I would suggest you see his physician for the antibiotics. Once the infection resolves, you can get the lipoma removed by a surgeon.
Hope this helps
Let me know if I can address any more concerns.
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Follow-up: 4 year old having lipoma since birth. It is getting sore, hard and red. Any ideas? 8 minutes later
Thank you. I wonder whether he has bruised or knocked it? It's the first time this has happened he is complaining of it less today and only needed calpol first thing otherwise well in himself how do they get infected? And if it is infected will they automatically remove it? Has had v slight temperature but better today v snotty nose as well unsure if they connected thanks
Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 6 minutes later
Thanks for getting back.
Lipomas can get infected and this does not necessarily happen after a trauma. The mechanism of how they get infected is not clearly known. The temperature and the cold could be due to a separate viral illness or an allergy and would not cause a lipoma to become swollen or sore. These 2 things are not connected.
We usually take care of the infection first. If this gets repeatedly infected, we remove it.

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Follow-up: 4 year old having lipoma since birth. It is getting sore, hard and red. Any ideas? 4 minutes later
Sorry last question do you think the hardness the redness and the swelling are due to an infection - it doesn't automatically mean there's anything sinister there does it? Just find it odd that had since birth and he's never complained of it before - I think it is this that is causing me to worry
Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 9 minutes later
You needn't be sorry. To answer your question, I dont think there us anything sinister to it. Extremely rarely, lipomas do turn malignant and then it is called a liposarcoma. But typically, here the lipoma would enlarge and this would occur over atleast small period of time ( not suddenly as in your son's case).
I dont think you need to worry about this. Your son's just fine.
I hope I have addressed your concerns. If you have any more questions, I'd be happy to help. If not, please close this discussion and rate this answer.
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