Sebaceous Cyst

by Sam Malone


What is a Sebaceous Cyst? Sebaceous cysts, also known sometimes as epidermal cysts, are small bumps or lumps, which occur just under the skin. They are closed sacs, made of and filled with protein cells called keratin, which have a cheesy or pasty appearance, along with a foul odor. They can be felt under the skin as soft lumps. They grow slowly, and are painless and harmless. But you must avoid touching them, as this may cause an infection or abscess.

Sebaceous cysts generally occur on the trunk, neck or face, and sometimes in the vaginal region or other parts of the genitalia. Do not however confuse it with genital herpes, which is not a bump but a blister-type sore, which ultimately becomes crusty.

Sebaceous breast cysts are a rare occurrence, but if you do have a small lump on the breast, it is best that you get it checked by a doctor as soon as possible, because it may be a more dangerous sign of cancer.

Causes of Sebaceous Cysts on Breast: Sebaceous cysts may be caused when a sebaceous duct at the base of a hair follicle gets swollen and blocked. Sometimes, it may also be caused by an injury or trauma to the skin.

Symptoms: Like most cysts, these sacs tend to move freely under the skin. They are generally painless and grow slowly. You may find a foul odor coming from them.

However, it is important not to touch them, or try to remove them, as this may lead to an infection. Sebaceous cyst infection may cause redness and tenderness. The skin over the bump or lump may also feel slightly warm.

Sebaceous Cysts Treatment: Experienced doctors can diagnose sebaceous cysts by their appearance. In some cases however, they may order a biopsy to get a formal diagnosis, and rule out any other problems with a similar appearance.

Sebaceous cysts are not dangerous and usually disappear on their own, even if left untreated. Sometimes however, they may become too large and interfere with your normal activities, or they may get inflamed. If the cyst is still small, your doctor may treat it with antibiotics or steroid injections. If the cyst grows too large, a minor surgery may be required. A small incision is made, and the cyst drained out. Many doctors however, prefer to remove the entire sac to prevent the sac from recurring. Sebaceous cyst surgery is generally not painful, and can be done at the doctor's office. Recovery is quick.


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