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Have small hard painless lump under skin. What could this be?

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Critical Care Specialist
Practicing since : 1992
Answered : 1607 Questions
I have a small hard marble(Round) like lump under skin ..can't see it but feel it . Located side of upper back (across from armpit but where back begins ) Moves hard to "catch it" moves a bit painless ...I asked my Dr but could not really feel it that day, she was not concerned but she didn't get to feel it..( She said watch to see if it grows (that is hard to tell) I have had it for 6 mo that I know of. I do not think it has grown. When I stretch my arm etc I can feel it better. What can this be? Please advise
Posted Wed, 19 Dec 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Sadiq Mughal 48 minutes later
Thanks for writing to us.
The lump which you’re mentioning in posterior axillary fold (what you say across from armpit, where back begins.) has the following possibilities
No1. Lipoma.
No2 . A small lymph node
No3. Fibroadenoma ,though chances are less
If you can upload a picture of this lump, it will be of great help.
Hoe this answers your question.
Let me know, if you have any more queries.
Take care

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have small hard painless lump under skin. What could this be? 2 hours later
I can not take a picture because nothing to see only felt ..not on skin deeper..are lipoma hard this is hard
Answered by Dr. Sadiq Mughal 10 hours later
Hi and thanks for follow up.

Lipomas are mobile and slippery swelling - when you try to catch them under skin they slip from your hands. It is usually firm to hard swelling, but not stony hard. It is a very common cause of lumps under the skin and does not cause any serious complications.

I understand it is difficult to take a picture. But don't worry. Like your doctor said, if there is no rapid growth in the size of the lump, it is very, very rare to be of malignant/serious nature.

Hope this is reassuring. Do write back if you have any more queries.
If there are no further follow-ups, please close this discussion.

Take care and Regards,

Dr Sadiq
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have small hard painless lump under skin. What could this be? 15 hours later
Ok mine is very slippery but hard and no rapid growth, if any, hard to tell reminds of a marble round etc... You can snot see this at all when looking ..Final question if you don't mind...Are Lipomas XXXXXXX like this is? If slight growth should I have it looked at?

Thanks so much...Concerned or would not be writing
Answered by Dr. Sadiq Mughal 12 hours later
Hi and thanks for follow up.

I can understand your concern. You’re welcome to ask as many questions, I will be happy to address all your concerns.

Lipomas are benign type of tumors and they occur in almost any part of body - under skin, within the muscles, inside the abdomen, chest and even brain. So they can be as superficial as under skin and as XXXXXXX as inside muscle.

They can grow in size gradually and gradual increase in size should not invoke panic. If it does grow in size, you would definitely notice it.

You need to seek medical attention if there is an abrupt/rapid growth in size, pain/tenderness, local skin changes or other focal symptoms. An excision biopsy needs to be order in those cases. However, hardly any of the lipomas transform to cause the listed changes. So you can stay relaxed.

Hope this allays all your fears. Please do write back if you have any other concerns.
If you don't have any more questions, close the discussion, grade the answer and write review,

Dr Sadiq
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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