Sebaceous Cyst

Sebaceous Cyst


A Sebaceous Cyst is a type of cyst that lies and grows under the skin. There are two organs that Sebaceous Cyst originates from. The first one is in the sweat glands that occur in the skin whereas the other one is referred to as Pilar cyst that originates from hair follicles.

The symptoms of Sebaceous Cyst are often ignored by patients as a minor irritation. A major symptom of Sebaceous Cyst is a lump formation under the skin. These cysts are commonly found in the areas like face, neck, scalp or other areas except the palms and sole of the feet. The lump is usually not painful in the initial stage, but as it grows, it becomes sensitive to touch and can get infected. It has been observed that if infected it becomes warm red and painful


Sebaceous Cyst occurs in the sebaceous gland that produces oil called sebum which is responsible for coating the hair and skin. At times, the sebaceous gland is blocked due to which sebum does not get a passage to release the oil. As a result, a cyst starts to grow under that area.   

In most of the cases, no specific cause is found. A scratch, a surgical wound or any skin condition can be one of the reasons for blocking the sebum to be released, causing Sebaceous Cyst. The cyst does not start to grow immediately; in fact, it might take months to grow to a size that the patient can feel it. Apart from the above-mentioned causes, there are a few other factors as well that can lead to Sebaceous Cyst.


There are various tests that a doctor would recommend to a patient for the diagnosis of a Sebaceous Cyst. In most of the cases a physical examination is all that a doctor needs to determine the type of cyst. In cases where the cyst is unusual, certain tests need to be conducted to rule out the possibility of cancer. These tests include:

  • CT scan – With the help of CT scan, it becomes easy for the doctor to find the suitable route for surgery along with other possible abnormalities.
  • Ultrasound – It helps to find the composition of the cyst.
  • Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC) – A small part of the tissue is removed from the cyst to examine it in the laboratory. It is done to check for any possibilities of cancer.

There have been a lot of cases where Sebaceous Cysts are ignored as they are not that harmful and dangerous. Sebaceous Cysts should be removed totally through surgery. The surgery can be done under Local Anesthesia as an OPD (Outpatient) procedure.


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