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All You Need To Know About Sebaceous Cysts

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Sebaceous cysts are benign skin lesions coming out from the sebaceous gland. The sebaceous gland produces the oil called sebum which coats your skin or hair. They are also referred as epidermal inclusion cysts. These cysts are the abnormalities in the body which may contain liquid or semi liquid material, they rarely require intervention out of medical necessity.

The sebaceous cysts are normally found on the face, neck or torso. They may grow slowly but can become inflamed, uncomfortable if they go unchecked.

All You Need To Know About Sebaceous Cysts

Causes of Sebaceous Cysts

Small cysts are not so painful but large ones can be uncomfortable and painful. And the larger cysts developing on the face or neck may cause pain and pressure. This type of cyst is normally filled with white flakes of keratin which is also the main element that makes up your skin and nails. Most cysts are very soft to touch.

Some unusual cysts having following characteristics may have the possibility of being cancerous: 

  • Reoccurring faster after being removed
  • Diameter larger than five centimetres
  • Sign of infection such as pain, redness or draining pus

Diagnosis and Treatment of Sebaceous Cysts 

While in some cases, a cyst is examined thoroughly for the signs of cancer, but they are usually diagnosed only by a physical examination and medical history. If the cyst is very unusual, your doctor may prescribe some additional tests to rule out possible cancers. You may also need these tests if you wish to have the cyst surgically removed.

Common tests used to test these sebaceous cysts include: 

  • CT scans, which guide to thebest route for surgery and spot abnormalities
  • ultrasounds, which identify the contents inside the cyst
  • punch biopsy, which involves removing a small amount of tissue from the cyst to be examined in a laboratory for the signs of cancer

Your dermatologist can treat a sebaceous cyst by draining it or by surgically removing it. Normally, the cysts are not so dangerous but they are removed for cosmetic reasons. Since most of the cysts are not much harmful to your health, your doctor will allow you to choose the sebaceous cyst treatment option that works for you.

The best sebaceous cyst removal treatment to ensure a complete removal is through a surgical procedure, or your cyst will usually come back. However, some people choose to treat the cyst without surgery, because it can cause scarring.

Here are some of the common methods your doctor may use to remove your cyst: 

  1. Conventional wide excision: Completely removes a cyst but usually leavesa long scar
  2. Minimal excision: Causes minimal scarring but there are chancesthat the cyst will return
  3. Laser with punch biopsy excision: In this method, laser is used to make a small hole to drainthe contents in the cyst and the outer walls of the cyst are removed about a month later

Once the cyst is removed, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection. This should be used until the healing process is complete. Your doctor may also recommend a scar cream to reduce the appearance of any surgical scars.

Most cysts are normally not cancerous. Ones left untreated can become very large and may eventually require a surgical removal if they become quite painful or uncomfortable.

If you undergo a complete surgical removal treatment, the cyst will most likely not return in the future.

In rare cases, the area where the cyst is removed may become infected. In this case, contact your doctor if your skin shows any signs of infection such as redness and pain or if you develop a fever. Though most of the infections get recovered with antibiotics, but some can be deadly if untreated.

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