Sebaceous cyst

These cysts may be found on the trunk, face, neck and most commonly the scalp.  Generally, they are benign painless lumps under the skin, but have the potential to become painful and/or infected. This is best avoided by removal under local anesthesia.


What is a sebaceous cyst?

A cyst usually is a slow-growing lump that can move easily under the skin. These cysts are closed sacs that can be found under the skin of the entire body (except the palms of the hands and soles of the feet).


What causes sebaceous cysts?

Sebaceous cysts may be caused by blocked glands or swollen hair follicles in the skin. Trauma to skin has been reported, as well. Cysts sometimes are inherited.


What are the symptoms of sebaceous cysts?

The main symptom of a sebaceous cyst is that it is a lump under the skin. The lump is usually not painful. In some cases, however, cysts can get inflamed and become tender to the touch. The skin on the area of the cyst may be red and warm. Drainage from the cyst will appear grayish-white and cheese-like, and will have a foul smell.

Sebaceous Cyst 1


Sebaceous cysts also termed Pilar cysts, are removed under local anesthesia. This is not because they are dangerous but rather for being uncomfortable and bothersome or for cosmetic reasons. It is important to remember that without surgical removal, your cyst will usually come back, if aspirated.

The best treatment is to ensure complete removal through minor surgery under local anesthesia.

Cysts left untreated can gradually become larger and may eventually require surgical removal if they become uncomfortable or for aesthetic reasons.

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