What is sebaceous cyst and what are its symptoms?

Sebaceous cyst and its symptoms

Sebaceous cyst and its symptoms

Cysts are small solid bumps that develop under the skin, on many parts of the body like the face, neck, chest, and arms. In the early stages of cyst development, they are usually filled with clear liquid or semisolid material and are painless.

The most common types of cysts are sebaceous cysts which develop as a result of blocked hair follicles. On the other hand, boils or abscesses are deeper and caused by bacterial infection.

Chances of getting cyst increases with age, because as we age our cells accumulate old and damaged proteins that can trigger inflammation and infections under the skin. Wearing tight clothes and obesity also puts you at a greater risk of developing cysts.

Prevention is always better than cure, therefore it is vital to keep your skin clean, moisturized, and hydrated.

Cysts are not cancerous. They can be painless, but take the right amount of time and they can cause a lot of discomfort. 

What are cysts? Small sacs of liquid or semi-fluid are formed in the skin or a body organ. A cyst is usually painless and is usually found in the breast, reproductive organs, kidneys, bladder, and skin. 

What are the Causes of Cysts? 

Cysts are most commonly caused by injuries such as ingrown hair or nails, insect bites, acne, or pimples. They may cause boils or sebaceous cysts.

The cause of cysts can also be hormonal changes which cause hormone-related cysts which develop in women during their menstrual periods. If a woman has very long menstrual cycles or if she is taking certain drugs for birth management, her body will not have time to completely get rid of the uterine lining and it will continue to bleed into the surrounding tissue.

What are Sebaceous Cysts?

Sebaceous Cysts are fluid-filled lumps under the skin that may be present at birth. They are more common in boys and usually appear on the scalp, neck, armpits, and groin. Sebaceous Cysts are harmless but can be painful if they become infected.

A Sebaceous Cyst, also known as Sebaceous follicle cyst, are the lumps or bumps that are commonly found on the skin. They are typically painless, but some of them can be painful to the touch. They are filled with sebum, an oily material produced by the sebaceous glands that are connected to hair follicles. A Sebaceous Cyst can grow to be several centimeters in diameter and can even grow within other structures like the eyelids, the nose, and ears.

What are the Symptoms of Sebaceous Cysts?

Sebaceous cysts can be identified as small lumps under the skin and are mostly soft to the touch. They occur in areas like the scalp, face, neck, and back. These cysts are usually painless and non-cancerous.

Sebaceous cysts are considered unusual and cancerous if their diameter is larger than 5 centimeters and it leads to infection such as pain, pus drainage, and redness on the skin.

What are the Treatments Available for Sebaceous Cysts?

After identifying the severity of your cysts, your doctor might advise draining it or removing it through surgery. In most cases, cysts are removed because of cosmetic reasons.

However, even after draining, there is no guarantee that Sebaceous cysts will not return. The best option is to go for a complete removal through surgery but many people avoid this option because it can cause scarring.

There are many methods to remove Sebaceous cysts, like:

  • Minimal excision- This method might cause minimal scarring but there is no guarantee that cysts will not come back.
  • Conventional wide excision- This method completely removes cysts but can cause a long scar.
  • Laser excision- This method uses a laser to make a small hole to drain the contents of the cyst.

What are Home Remedies to Treat Sebaceous Cysts?

Apple cider vinegar, hot compress, tea tree oil, castor oil, aloe vera gel, honey, etc are some of the ingredients and techniques to try at home to get rid of Sebaceous cysts. However, these home remedies are not backed by evidence and therefore do not guarantee to yield results.

Always do a patch test before using topical natural remedies. These home remedies can cause skin inflammation and other minor infections as well. So, it is better to get the treatment done by a specialist.

Take Away

Sebaceous Cysts are common skin development on the eyelids, abdomen, armpit, and face. A sebaceous cyst is a superficial, closed sac that contains a mixture of dead skin cells and sebum, the oily substance that lubricates the skin. Sebaceous Cysts are usually painless but can cause pain discomfort in severe cases.

If Sebaceous cysts are left untreated for a long time, they may become very large, and eventually, surgery would be required to remove them. A complete surgery may indicate that the cyst will most likely not return soon. Sometimes, the affected area may become infected after surgery. In that case, contact your doctor to get some antibiotics.

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