Does lipomas leak any fluid that have a bad smell to it?

The growths on my back was diagnosed as lipomas a few years back and I had one removed ,but the things on my back leaks a fluid and smells bad which is very embarrassing and I am just wondering if they are really lipomas or something else. I am sorry that I can't send a picture of them, because I don't have anyone here to here to take a picture of them,,because I live alone, but they are rounded and look like lipomas, but they leak fluid and smells bad.

Doctor Answers 7

Lipoma removal in Los Angeles

Your lipoma may be an infected cyst or some other type of subcutaneous lesion. I would have it reevaluated. 


Dr. Karamanoukian

Los Angeles

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Lipoma vs infection

Hi. Thank you for your question. Those are definitely not the symptoms of a lipoma. It seems to be a different pathologic type like a sebaceous cyst or even an infection of soft tissue. It`s important that you consult with a certified plastic surgeon so he can examine you and solve your problem as soon as possible before it proceeds.

Leaking fluid following lipoma removal

Seromas often happen where lipomas once were. This is a healthy fluid collection created by the body, that is similar to the fluid that would be found in a blister if you had your shoe rub an area of your foot. After lipoma removal, there may be some melted or dying fat as well that makes the fluid oily/greasy and may have an odor to it. Old blood may also make it rusty and create a metallic odor also. All of this should improve fairly quickly in days to weeks. If the area is worsening, becoming warmer, redder, more painful, or if the wound edges are "unsticking" there may be a need to evaluate you for infection of the site. If you have yet to have any surgery or procedures, the skin can make wax-filled cysts that can become infected and rupture with cloudy fluid or pus that smells bad like sweaty socks. If these areas keep coming back again and again, you may need more definitive treatment to remove these areas. 
If there are several areas, especially near the armpits or groin, this may be related to a condition called hidradenitis suppurativa which a doctor would need to examine you to diagnose and suggest treatment options.

Smelly skin lumps

This is not a lipoma, which have no smell. It is much more likely a sebaceous cyst, which can look and feel like a lipoma, but smell when they leak. Your family physician should be able to tell you what to do, and surgical excision is usually very simple. Regards, Dr Steve Merten, Sydney, Australia

#Lipoma - Does lipomas leak any fluid

Not normally; this sounds more like a cyst (which can often leak fluid or a foul-smelling material) than a lipoma. If, however, you're talking about a surgical site - ie, the lipoma was removed and is now leaking fluid through the incision - then this is probably some blood and/or serous fluid that has collected where the lipoma was.  This can usually be resolved simply with drainage.  You should in any event be assessed in person by a board-certified plastic surgeon.  I hope that this helps and good luck, Dr. Alan Engler, Member of #RealSelf500


Lipomas are fatty lumps that are generally nontender but can cause pain in certain locations or when growing. They are benign if they are indeed lipomas. A rare malignancy called sarcoma is occasionally mistaken for a benign lipoma. These masses do not smell or drain unless they become infected which is rare. Epidermoid or sebaceous cysts which are subcutaneous masses sometimes mistaken for lipomas can become infected and rupture.  They can be very foul smelling and are best treated by removal once the infection has resolved.

Do lipomas leak fluid that smells bad?

Thank you for sharing your question.  Lipomas are benign collections of fat cells that do not leak any fluid when either squeezed or surgically removed.  For round masses on the back what you likely have are epidermal inclusion cysts or sebaceous cysts which can contain keratinaceous debris that smells bad.  In either case, cutting out the masses cures the issue.  Hope this helps. 

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

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