Sebaceous Cysts

Causes and Symptoms of Sebaceous Cysts

Whether you’ve never heard of Sebaceous Cysts or you’re already familiar with this rash, you’ll find that there are several different causes for these skin blemishes. The good news is that these cysts can often be treated and you can have healthy skin again.

Epidermoid cysts

Unlike sebaceous cysts, epidermoid cysts are not cancerous. They occur in the dermis or under the skin and are formed when cells in the epidermis multiply instead of shedding off as skin cells do. Usually, they are not painful. If they become inflamed, they can be difficult to remove. Depending on the location, they may be removed surgically or by injection. They can also be checked with ultrasound.

Epidermoid cysts are commonly found in women, but men are also at risk for them. They appear on the face, neck, head, back, and torso. The diameter of an epidermoid cyst can range from a few millimeters to a few inches. They are typically non-cancerous and asymptomatic. However, they can rupture, causing painful swelling. If you notice an inflammatory reaction, you should seek medical advice. The most common cause is trauma to the skin. Other causes include genetic disorders.

These cysts are filled with keratin, a thick yellow substance. During a normal skin cycle, keratin is produced by the epidermis. But, when the epidermis cells are disrupted, keratin can get trapped, forming an epidermoid cyst. In addition to keratin, epidermoid cysts may contain Merkel cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. These conditions can be difficult to diagnose unless they are detected by histopathology.

Ultrasound can be used to diagnose epidermoid cysts. This technique reliably identifies the size of the mass and can show the surrounding structures. It is also an effective method for evaluating the relationship between the cyst and the surrounding tissues. MRI is an alternative imaging modality that can be used to visualize the mass and determine whether it is invasive into the soft tissues. MRI is also helpful in determining the type of tissue involved. A bulls-eye appearance on an MRI may indicate an intratesticular epidermoid cyst.

In addition, ultrasound can be used to identify the presence of concentric rings in an epidermoid cyst. The concentric rings are caused by dense-layered debris in the center of the cyst. Using a warm, moist compress can help the cyst to drain. If you notice that an epidermoid cyst is growing rapidly, you should seek medical advice. If the cyst is inflamed, removing it can lead to infection. Squeezing the contents of the cyst can also be dangerous and can result in scarring around the cyst.

In some cases, epidermoid cysts can be confused with lipoma. They are similar in shape and size, but they tend to be less painful. A cystic, comedone-shaped epidermoid cyst often has a dark, central opening, and a protruding cheese-like material is also a clue.

An ultrasound image can also be useful in assessing the relationship between the cyst and the surrounding structures. If the epidermoid cyst is in a rare area, it may raise suspicion of Gardner syndrome, a disorder that can cause pilomatrixoma-like changes in epidermoid cysts.

Hereditary causes

Besides inherited causes, trauma and other skin conditions can also lead to the development of sebaceous cysts. It’s important to understand the differences between a benign and an aggressive cyst. If left untreated, some infections may be fatal. If you experience an outbreak, it’s best to get it treated as soon as possible. Depending on the infection, the cyst can be removed surgically or by draining.

The first step in removing a sebaceous cyst is to drain the content. You can do this by using a warm, damp cloth. You may also use an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection. You should be careful not to touch the cyst while it is draining. The drainage will appear grayish-white and have a foul odor. You can treat the area with antibiotic ointment until the healing process is complete.

Sometimes a skin disorder called Gardner’s syndrome is mistakenly referred to as sebaceous cysts. The condition is actually benign fibromas of the skin, and it may include benign osteomas of the bone. In this condition, the hair follicle becomes enlarged and swollen. The cysts are small and aren’t painful. But if they become large, they can put pressure on the skin and interfere with clothing.

These cysts can occur anywhere on the body, including the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. However, they’re most common on the face and neck. They can be painful and cause infection. They’re also difficult to treat, as they’re often large and unsightly. If they’re painful, you should see a doctor. They may have to perform additional tests to determine whether or not it’s benign.

If a steatocystoma multiplex is present, your doctor will probably perform a biopsy. This will be done to see if the cyst is cancerous, or if there are any other skin growths at the site. In some cases, a laser can be used to make a small hole in the sebaceous cyst to drain the contents. This can be done in a minimally invasive procedure, but it can leave scarring.

If a suppurating cyst is present, the skin around it will be red, and it will have a burning or stinging sensation. Inflamed cysts can be very difficult to remove, so you should see a doctor as soon as possible. You might need to take oral antibiotics, as well. Infections usually go away on their own, but if you don’t get treatment, you may need surgery to remove the cyst.

You can also develop a suppurating cyst because of a damaged hair follicle or oil gland. In some cases, the follicles can be blocked by bacteria, which can lead to the formation of a cyst. If the cyst is painful, you should drain it. If it’s large, you should also have it avulsed.


Symptoms of sebaceous cysts include swelling, redness, pain, and infection. They are usually harmless and noncancerous. However, they can rupture and cause infection if not treated promptly. In rare cases, sebaceous cysts can become cancerous. A biopsy can confirm whether or not a sebaceous cyst is cancerous.

There are two surgical approaches to removing a sebaceous cyst. One approach is called minimal excision with a punch biopsy, which is a less invasive procedure than the traditional wide excision method. The punch biopsies are done by using a sharp tool, such as a scalpel, to cut through the skin to the cyst. It is unclear if this technique will help prevent recurrences.

Another type of treatment involves open wound management, which involves closing the opening of the sebaceous cyst and draining the contents. This may be a good option if the cyst is infected. This method does not require stitches and is often effective.

The use of steroids may also help to reduce inflammation. If the cyst has been infected, antibiotic ointment should be applied to the wound until it heals. This will help to reduce the risk of scarring. It is important to keep the skin clean and dry, as any traces of bacteria can cause an infection. A warm moist compress may also be used to encourage the cyst to drain.

A CT scan is another option to help a surgeon determine the best access path for the removal of a sebaceous cyst. This is especially helpful if the cyst is in the head or skull, where it can cause serious damage. It is also useful in detecting abnormalities in the cyst.

If a sebaceous cyst is infected, a veterinarian may treat the infection. In some cases, the doctor may recommend surgery. The cyst can be removed by making an incision at the site of the bulging cyst, which will be lined with a dressing. This incision should be covered with a preservative to stop bleeding.

A sebaceous cyst can be diagnosed through a physical exam and skin tests. The cyst can have a foul smell, and it can be accompanied by a brown or gray discharge. A doctor will perform a punch biopsy to examine the cyst for signs of cancer. The doctor can then send the mass to a lab for testing.

The sebaceous cyst may be small or large, depending on where it is located. It can be located on the face, neck, back, and other parts of the body. It may appear as a bump, or it can be a smooth, round growth. It is usually soft, and its color is either blue or slightly gray. The contents of a sebaceous cyst are usually keratin, lipids, and other protein. The content can be identified with ultrasound.

Health Sources:

Health A to Z. (n.d.).

U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.).

Directory Health Topics. (n.d.).

Health A-Z. (2022, April 26). Verywell Health.

Harvard Health. (2015, November 17). Health A to Z.

Health Conditions A-Z Sitemap. (n.d.).

Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman is a Healthy Home Remedies Writer for Home Remedy Lifestyle! With over 10 years of experience, I've helped countless people find natural solutions to their health problems. At Home Remedy Lifestyle, we believe that knowledge is power. I am dedicated to providing our readers with trustworthy, evidence-based information about home remedies and natural medical treatments. I love finding creative ways to live a healthy and holistic lifestyle on a budget! It is my hope to empower our readers to take control of their health!

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