What Are Sebaceous Cysts
Sebaceous Cysts look like small smooth lumps under the skin surface. A cyst often has a “punctum” in the middle and sometimes discharge white toothpaste like material, which can smell.
They are benign (non-cancerous) and usually cause no harm or problems. If required, they can usually be removed easily by a small operation done under local anaesthetic. The reason why some people want them removed is for cosmetic reasons, recurrent infection or inflammation.
What do these cysts look like and what are their symptoms?
The cysts are smooth round lumps which you can see and feel just beneath the skin surface. They are very common. Often they are small (pea size) but sometimes they slowly get bigger over many months to become a few centimetres in diameter.
Where Can They Grow?
- Cysts can affect anyone but are most common in young and middle-aged adults. They can appear anywhere on the skin but develop most commonly on the face, neck, chest, scalp and upper back.
What Symptoms Can They Cause?
- They become infected, when they may become red, inflamed and painful. A course of antibiotics will usually clear an infection if it occurs.
- The cyst may leak the toothpaste-like material on to the skin if the cyst is punctured or damaged. This can have a certain unpleasant smell.
- A crust may grow on the skin over the cyst.
What causes cysts?
Sebaceous Cysts form under the skin when a grease gland becomes blocked and begins to build up, It seems that some cells that are normally near to the surface of the skin (cells of the epidermis or cells in hair follicles) get into deeper parts of the skin but continue to multiply. This may occur for various reasons – for example, following an injury to the skin. The cells that multiply form into a sac and produce the keratin that they would normally make on the top layer of the skin. The keratin becomes soggy and forms into a toothpaste-like substance, There is a genetic factor in some cases.
Are Sebaceous cysts harmful?
No, they are almost always benign. That is, they are not cancerous, do not spread to other parts of the body or cause any serious problems.
When would you consider cyst removal?
- They are sometimes easy to catch and traumatise. This typically occurs on the scalp when combing hair.
- If the cyst has become infected or irritating (often best to treat with Antibiotics and to wait until the infection is settled and it is smaller again due to better cosmetic results).
- It is growing.
- For cosmetic reasons
- They can smell quite pungent
How Surgery For Sebaceous Cysts Is Performed
The complete cyst can usually be easily removed by a simple operation. The surrounding skin is numbed by injecting some local anaesthetic. A small incision is made over the cyst. The cyst is carefully dissected. The wound is then closed. A small scar will result. Very rarely , after the removal of a cyst, it gradually regrows in the same site under the scar. This is unusual but, if it occurs, it can be removed again.
Surgery For Cyst Removal:
Cost of removal of a cyst: Start from £250
The cost of surgery for cyst removal is typically £250 for a small cyst.
If you wish to make an appointment you can contact us, we Offer Free First Consultation with one of our Surgeon.