Let us decipher what exactly is a‘sebaceous cyst’. Sebaceous means connected or related to oil or fat. Cyst means a thin walled cavity or a sac containing a fluid. In our bodies we have sebaceous glands which secrete oil(sebum) onto the skin. Thus a sebaceous cyst is a small lump under the skin which is formed due to the accumulation of a fluid. It develops very slowly and is mostly harmless hence gets neglected by the person having it.

Occurrence:-

It can develop on any body part but predominantly it is seen on the scalp, neck, back, trunk or groin area. It usually occurs when the gland opening gets blocked or hair follicle gets swollen due to the breakage of the follicle from the skin.

Nature of the Sebaceous cyst:-

The cyst starts with being a small, dome shaped evolution on the skin. The skin region where this protrusion is seen becomes soft & tender. It is usually painless. If the cyst gets ruptured then greyish-white, cheese like oily material with a foul odour oozes out from it.

Causes:-

Sebaceous cysts normally develop when the sebaceous glands or ducts are clogged. These glands secrete oily fluid which coats our skin/hair. When they are blocked, this oily secretion starts getting accumulated.

Also if you are prone to acne/ have a history of acne, you could be susceptible to developing a sebaceous cyst on your body.

Very often hair loss is seen above the cyst’s surface if it’s been existing for a while on the body.

Is it fatal or cancerous?

Normally a sebaceous cyst is considered benign. But one must get concerned if one sees any of these symptoms:-

Sudden, rapid development of the cyst with it’s diameter exceeding 4 cms.

Rupture of the cyst & thereafter infection which makes the area reddish.

If there is a lot of strain & stretching of the skin experienced on the cyst causing physical discomfort.

Hence it would be wise to see a doctor and get your condition diagnosed correctly if you see the growth of a cyst on any part of your body.

Diagnosis:-

By physical examination and ultrasound, if needed.

Natural remedy:-

As it is a protrusion on the skin of a substantial magnitude, it is unlikely that it will get healed by home remedies or natural remedies. Even if it does, it will require a very long time to restore the skin to the normal condition. It would be difficult to follow the remedial procedure consistently for that duration.

The individual must resist the temptation to press or squeeze the cyst. This can lead to infection & complications.

If the cyst gets ruptured on it’s own & the fluid gets drained, one must contact a doctor immediately so that the area can be disinfected, proper dressing can be done and antiseptics/antibiotics can be given. Thereafter your doctor will decide on the further course of action.

Sebaceous Cyst treatment:-

If the cyst gets inflamed, irritated or is growing on the neck, face which could be socially embarrassing or causing physical discomfort, it would be prudent to seek opinion from a well-qualified & experienced surgeon.

Going for a complete cyst removal surgery is normally recommended as it helps to get completely rid of the lump & the surgery is considered as a minor, risk free surgery.

Surgical Procedure to cure a Sebaceous cyst:-

First, a proper mark-up of the area that needs to be treated will be done with a temporary marker. Anaesthesia will be administered to the individual. An incision will be made carefully. Skin will be split open just enough to enable the complete removal of the cyst. This is done with utmost precision. The incision which was made earlier will be closed with one or two stitches if required.

Duration of the surgery:-

It is a minor surgery which can be easily completed within an hour.

Hospital stay needed?

Surgery to remove a sebaceous cyst is a walk-in, walk-out kind of a surgery. No hospital admission or stay is required.

Scarring after surgery?

There could be a minor scar initially which subsides with the passage of time & is not easily visible.

Side effects?

After the process antibiotics and some antiseptic, disinfecting ointments may be prescribed. Most of the cases there are no complications or side effects. It is necessary that the individual takes care of the treated area & avoids it from coming in contact with water for initial few days after the surgery.

Healing time?

The wound heals & completely dries up in approx. 1-2 weeks.