We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Lipohypertrophy?

By Maggie J. Hall
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Individuals with lipohypertrophy generally have abnormal adipose, or fat, deposits below the skin. Certain endocrine disorders may cause the affliction, and repeated subcutaneous injections can also precipitate it. The condition may also occur after extensive use of certain antidiabetic or antiviral medications. Treatment can involve eliminating causative factors, but the abnormality might also be corrected cosmetically.

Lipohypertrophy belongs to a group of cutaneous conditions known as lipodystrophy, which is an abnormal distribution of fatty tissue. Depending on the cause, deposits may develop as a small lump below the skin. Larger accumulations of fatty tissue, however, may occur in other patients.

Individuals with endocrine disorders commonly experience this condition. When the adrenal glands release too much cortisol, patients develop a condition known as Cushing’s disease in which excess fatty tissue and fluid accumulate in the abdomen, back, and face. Pituitary tumors may also affect the adrenal glands and cause the disorder.

Insulin dependent diabetics commonly experience this form of lipohypertrophy, although patients who receive repeated injections of other medications may develop the same problem. Injections administered in the same location repeatedly not only contribute to scar tissue formation but also the possibility of developing abnormal adipose tissue deposits. Health care providers suggest that patients minimize or prevent this reaction by alternating injection sites frequently. Some studies suggest that patients who use synthetic insulins have a higher predisposition for developing lipohypertrophy, and in some instances, switching insulins or adjusting dosages has eliminated the problem.

Patients who take antiviral medications for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) also commonly develop this disorder. These patients can experience a combination of lipohypertrophy symptoms. They not only develop an excess of adipose deposits but also experience involutional lipoatrophy, or abnormal fat loss. HIV patients may experience abnormal fatty accumulations in the abdomen, back, and breasts along with extra tissue formation in the neck and shoulders. Simultaneously, some experience tissue loss in the face, limbs, and buttocks.

Some believe that the HIV virus is responsible for adipose changes, as HIV-positive patients typically have higher blood lipid levels. Others believe medications contribute to the disorder. Protease inhibitors impair enzymes that normally eliminate excess fat, and nucleoside reverse transcriptionase inhibitors interfere with cellular mitochondria, which may contribute to abnormal body functions. Symptoms may be reversed by changing the treatment regimen.

Regardless of the factors causing the disorder, some affected individuals improve with dietary changes and additional physical exercise. Some employ cosmetic intervention as lipohypertrophy treatment. Cosmetic surgeons commonly use liposuction to eliminate abnormal fatty tissue. Individuals experiencing tissue loss may opt for dermal fillers.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon338118 — On Jun 11, 2013

I'm diabetic (type 1) and I have this condition l(ipohypertrophy). Will the tester one treatment help me because I don't like the surgery option.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.