A sebaceous cyst appears like a smooth lump that is present under the skin. These cysts are usually small and do not cause pain. They are often found on your trunk, face or on your neck region.

Sebaceous cysts usually grow quite slowly. What you see on your skin’s surface is due to a closed sac under the skin’s surface that is filled with a cheese-like/oily substance.

If your cyst remains untreated:

  • It might become infected
  • It might get bigger
  • It might form into an abscess, which is painful. (If this does happen, then your abscess will require medical attention/treatment.)

At the IPSA Medical clinic, you will be seen by a doctor (with a special interest in skin). Your IPSA Medical doctor will ensure that your cyst is not infected. You will always be examined in a professional and confidential setting.

If your cyst has become infected/inflamed, you might experience some (or all) of these symptoms:

  • Tender/sore skin
  • The skin in the area of the cyst may feel warm
  • Skin redness
  • A greyish or white substance that is foul smelling may leak out from your cyst

Your IPSA Medical doctor will carry out a thorough examination of your cysts/lumps. This is to make sure that they are all benign. You will be offered a number of different treatment options, which include the choice of having the lump completely removed or medication.

You IPSA Medical doctor will advise you regarding the different removal methods, which gives you the choice of the best healing with minimal scarring.

During your consultation, we can remove your cyst: you will also receive full after-care advice.

You will be asked to return to the IPSA Medical surgery 10 days later; this is so that we can review your case and check that your skin is healing properly.

What Causes Sebaceous Cysts?

Sebaceous cysts are mostly due to swollen hair follicles, but sometimes they are caused by skin trauma. The sebaceous cyst develops as a sac of cells into which a protein (called keratin) is secreted.

Steroid injections for small and inflamed cysts reduce the level of swelling.

Tender, swollen or large cysts can be drained or you can undergo surgery (excision) to remove them. Excision is highly effective at removing unsightly cysts that are large. The cyst is very unlikely to return if it is completely removed by excision; however, if it is not fully removed, it may return.

What to Do If You Discover a Cyst

If you do notice any new ‘growths’ on your body, then call IPSA Medical. Alternatively, you can book online and receive a same-day appointment. Usually, cysts are non-cancerous; however, our IPSA Medical doctors will be able to check your skin for any signs of cancer.

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