Skin Disorders

Skin Disorders

Skin disorders cover a wide range of conditions, some benign, some very serious, and some even a sign of another underlying illness. A skin disorder not only affects your physical health, but also your emotional well-being.


Skin CareSkin Disorders › Sebaceous Cysts

Sebaceous Cysts - Removal Treatment For Infected Sebaceous Cyst

Alternative names :: Vulvar cysts, Pilar cyst, Epidermoid cyst, Keratin cyst

Sebaceous cysts are harmless, slow-growing bumps under the skin, often appearing on the scalp, face, ears, back, or groin area. The cysts usually contain dead skin and other skin particles.

Causes of sebaceous cysts

Sebaceous cysts may form on both male and female individuals of various ages. However, it is important to note that sebaceous cysts often appear on those individuals who are going through puberty at the time. Sebaceous cysts most often arise from swollen hair follicles. Skin trauma can also induce a cyst to form. A sac of cells is created into which a protein called keratin is secreted.

Sebaceous Cysts are primarily a cosmetic problem or a nuisance if they form in body regions that are easily irritated, such as the armpit. These cysts are benign and do not develop into cancer. Sebaceous cysts tend to develop in teenagers because of an interaction among hormones, sebum, and bacteria. During puberty, the glands in the skin produce excessive sebum. In skin that is prone to acne, the sebum and dead skin cells clog the hair follicles and form comedones, or clogged pores. A comedone may break through the pore wall underneath the skin and release its contents. This causes a pimple or pustule. If this substance is released deep into the skin it will cause a sebaceous cyst.

Signs and symptoms of sebaceous cysts

sebaceous cysts

Small lumps or bumps that occur just under the skin of the vagina, genitalia, breast, abdomen, face, neck, or elsewhere on the body are the most common symptom of sebaceous cysts.
Occasionally infections may occur. Signs or symptoms that may indicate infection of sebaceous cysts include:

  • redness
  • Painless, unless they rupture or become infected
  • increased temperature of the skin over the bumps or lumps
  • White, yellow, or flesh-tone in color

Treatment for sebaceous cysts

mall cysts generally do not need treatment, unless they bother you.  However larger cysts are usually removed because of their size. If a patient elects to have a cyst removed, the entire cyst wall and its contents must be removed. If not, recurrence of the cyst is certain. If a cyst becomes infected, treatment may include administering antibiotics and then surgically removing the cyst. The total sac of the Sebaceous Cyst must be removed. If the cheesy material is just squeezed out, the cyst will reform. The removal of the cyst is usually performed by a physician. Sometimes a small incision is required. In the case of infected cysts, antibiotics may be prescribed.

To remove a sebaceous cyst completely, it has to be excised (cut out) in order to remove the sac or cyst wall. A local anesthetic is used to numb the skin. Stitches are used to close the skin opening and are removed 3-4 days after the surgery.

Prevention of Sebaceous Cysts

Sebaceous cysts are often hard to prevent from occurring. As these cysts are often caused by the condition of acne, there are ways in which to prevent or limit outbreaks of acne which may in turn help to prevent sebaceous cysts from appearing. Good hygiene may prevent the formation of Sebaceous Cysts. Daily showers or baths with antibacterial soap are recommended. It is important to wash the back. Some individuals are predisposed to development of these cysts, so even careful hygiene does not prevent them.


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