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Sebaceous Cyst Treatment 

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Sebaceous cysts are common, non-cancerous cysts of the skin. Cysts are growths most often found on the face, neck and torso. 

What are sebaceous cysts?

Sebaceous cysts are lumps below the skin surface that contain semiliquid material. They tend to grow slowly and are not harmful. They can however become infected and cause an abscess which requires surgical drainage. Usually doctors will suggest they are removed to both obviate this risk and to exclude any diagnostic uncertainty.

What causes a sebaceous cyst?

A sebaceous cyst is formed from the sebaceous gland, where oil (sebum) is produced. If the gland, or its duct, gets blocked a cyst is generated. This often occurs due to trauma to the area, through factors such as open wounds or skin conditions, such as acne. As cysts tend to grow slowly, you may not notice for weeks or months until it is larger. 

Symptoms of a sebaceous cyst

When a sebaceous cyst is small, they do not tend to be painful, however larger cysts can cause discomfort or pain, especially if they are on the face or neck. Areas on the body where most cysts appear include:

  • Face
  • Neck
  • Back
  • Scalp

Cysts can be a cause for concern when they have the following characteristics:

  • The diameter is over 5cm 
  • A fast regrowth after being removed
  • Signs of infection, such as redness, pain or pus draining

Sebaceous Cyst Treatment

Medical professionals, such as Mr. Andrew Clarke, would advocate their removal which is usually conducted under local anaesthetic. If the cyst is infected then first line treatment is usually drainage to allow the infection to settle. In such instances in the longer remnants of the cyst may remain and may need a second procedure when all the infection has resolved, to complete its removal. The cyst is usually sent to the pathologists to examine under the microscope.

Sometimes, some people will choose against surgery because it can cause scarring.

If you have a sebaceous cyst and are interested in finding out more about sebaceous cyst treatment, contact Mr. Andrew Clarke.


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