What are the treatments for sebaceous cyst?

Treatments for sebaceous cyst

Treatments for sebaceous cyst

Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that develop in the skin or on its surface. These fluid-filled sacs can be caused by a single cell or multiple cells multiplying.

The cysts are most commonly found on areas with thinner skin such as the thighs, breasts, armpits, and butt. The cysts can also be found in the more sensitive areas of the body such as lips, face, or genitals.

Why do we get Cysts?

Cysts are the result of hair follicles and glands becoming clogged. When these areas are blocked the cells don’t have any place to move and start multiplying to form a cyst.

What are Sebaceous Cysts?

Sebaceous Cysts are basically skin lesions that can happen in various parts of the body. It is caused due to the accumulation of old sebum in your skin. The cysts appear due to the clogging of hair follicles due to dead skin cells and other debris. It can also appear due to hair follicles being punctured by shrubs or twigs etc.

What are the Symptoms of Sebaceous Cysts?

Sebaceous Cysts are most commonly found on the scalp, face, and neck. They occur when an oil-producing gland within a hair follicle becomes trapped, causing an enlarged lump or bump to appear on the skin. Sebaceous Cysts are benign (non-cancerous) and can be painful, especially if they become infected.

The early signs of a Sebaceous cyst include a small, round bump under the skin that is visible on the face, neck, or trunk. Other signs are:

  • A tiny blackhead at the center of the cyst.
  • Yellow, smelly material draining out of the cyst.
  • Redness, swelling, and inflammation in the area.

How to Treat Sebaceous Cysts?

Sebaceous cysts can be removed through surgery when it becomes uncomfortable. 

Inflamed cysts are often treated by injecting a steroid into the cyst to shrink it and reduce inflammation. If the cyst is infected, your doctor might cut and drain it in order to remove the infected materials.

Infected cysts are usually painful and therefore you might be given anesthesia to numb the infected area before draining it. If the infected cyst is left untreated, it can spread into the surrounding skin.

A cyst needs to be free from infection and inflammation in order to perform surgery on it but many people avoid surgery 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 the Things to keep in Mind Post a Sebaceous Cyst Removal Surgery?

Minor side effects like redness, tenderness, burning sensation, swelling, etc can be noticed post a Sebaceous cyst removal procedure. To keep these side effects under control, you can follow the tips given below.

  • Apply antibiotics or ointment prescribed by your doctor.
  • Keep the treated area clean and sterile.
  • Avoid extensive exposure to sunlight and dust.
  • Use a sunscreen lotion with SPF above 30.
  • Eat a balanced diet and drink a lot of fluids.
  • Protect the treated area from injuries and accidents.

What is the Recovery Period for Sebaceous Cyst Removal?

The healing time of Sebaceous cyst removal totally depends on the size of the operated cyst and the type of procedure conducted. For larger cysts, it may take more than 2 weeks to heal completely. While for lesser invasive methods, it may only take a couple of days for the patient to comfortably take up activities.

Infections, redness, swelling, and tenderness might be seen post removal. In that case, a patient needs to report it immediately to the doctor to be on the safe side.

Does Sebaceous Cyst Removal Lead to Scarring?

A sebaceous cyst removal treatment may or may not leave behind a scar depending upon the technique used and the size of the cyst. Surgical excisions ensure that cyst will not return but these surgeries leave a scar. However, lesser invasive techniques such as the punch biopsy leave little or no scar but these techniques do not guarantee that cyst will not come back. A doctor will prescribe medication and ointments to prevent or reduce scarring.

What is the Cost of Sebaceous Cyst Removal?

A Sebaceous cyst removal procedure may cost around Rs.3000 to Rs.7000 in India. However, prices vary depending on various factors like location, the intensity of the surgery, the experience of the surgeon, and anesthesia-related fees.

Surgical excision of larger cysts can cost around Rs. 1,00,000 and it may vary depending on the location of the cyst in the body. You need to consult a doctor or medical staff to know the exact cost of Sebaceous cyst removal surgery.

Take Away

Sebaceous Cysts (or Sebaceous Adenoma) is a benign condition of the skin. The most common type of sebaceous cysts is found in the nose, called Nasal Sebaceous Cysts. These are normally small, flat, and yellowish in color. It is important to diagnose them correctly to avoid over-treatment or unnecessary surgery.

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