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Sebaceous cyst is a benign growth that may develop anywhere on the skin. Such cyst occurs frequently and represents nothing but a collection of dead skin and oily secretions of dead skin cells inside a clogged pore. This benign lump is not painful but may be annoying and cause aesthetic issues. It is easily movable and may vary in size. Because sebaceous cysts never withdraw on their own they require surgical excision or other invasive treatment in order to be completely removed.

Clinical Characteristics of Sebaceous Cysts

Even though the following symptoms and signs generally occur in people suffering from sebaceous cysts, they can also develop in some other conditions.

Sebaceous cyst basically develops as a small, dome-shaped lump beneath the skin. The lump is generally smooth to touch and of different size. Being round in shape it contains debris and it may drain. The content of the cyst is foul-smelling and cheesy- like. In case the cyst gets inflamed, the surrounding skin becomes red and tender.

The Most Affected Parts of the Body

Sebaceous cysts most frequently form on the scalp, ears, back and face. Furthermore, they may affect the upper arm and rarely other parts of the body. In men the cyst commonly develops in the scrotum and chest.

It is essential to mention that apart from containing skin debris and dead skin cells together with oily substances produced by the superficial layer of the skin, sebaceous cysts may also comprise fibrous tissues, fluids and sometimes viscous, serosanguineous fluid containing purulent and bloody material.

Treatment for Sebaceous Cysts

There are several treatment modalities for a sebaceous cyst removal. They include non-surgical ones such as steroid injections and antibiotics and surgery in a form of surgical excision and surgical drainage.

  • Non-Invasive Treatments

Antibiotics are always administered in case of infection of the sebaceous cyst which may occur in certain number of patient. Furthermore, antibiotics are essential and always prescribed after surgical treatment of the cyst.

 

Steroid injections applied directly into the cyst resolve inflammation. However, such treatment cannot remove the cyst.

  • Surgical Removal of Sebaceous Cysts

Surgical excision removes the entire cyst and all its contents together with the cyst wall. On the other hand, surgical drainage only cuts open the cyst and allows its content to drain without removing the wall of the cyst. Because of that the cyst may eventually reoccur.

 

Surgical excision is highly effective means of complete removal of the cyst. The cyst will not reoccur but if the person is predisposed to sebaceous cyst, he/she may develop another cyst/cysts on other parts of the body or even nearby the previously removed one. The surgery does not take more than half an hour and is performed under local anesthesia.

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