If you notice a yellow or white lump on your skin, you may have a sebaceous cyst. A cyst is a slow-growing, fluid-filled, dome-shaped, yellow, or white lump that is easily movable under your skin. There are many types of cysts, and sebaceous cysts are one of them that originate from sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands are small glands located all over your body, like your hair, hands, and feet; they produce a mixture of oils called sebum that coats your skin and hair.
Sebaceous cysts are usually harmless and do not require any treatment unless they are aesthetically unpleasant or if they get infected. Let us discuss further sebaceous cysts, their causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment , and prevention. So read on!
A sebaceous cyst is a common, benign (non-cancerous) cyst of the skin that may contain liquid or semi-liquid material. These cysts can be found on your entire body but often affect the face, neck, and torso (but are not found in the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet), and are usually harmless and painless lumps. According to American Family Physicians, healthcare professionals call them epidermal, keratin, or epithelial cysts. Skin or sebaceous cysts are common, affecting at least 25% of adults, and can range in size from a few millimeters to 5 centimeters.
Sebaceous cysts originate from the sebaceous glands and are caused for the following reasons:
Usually, sebaceous cysts are harmless, fluid-filled lumps under your skin that present with the following symptoms:
Sebaceous cysts are usually considered harmless, but most often, people may wish to get them removed for cosmetic reasons. Your doctor will decide the best treatment option that works best for you.
Small sebaceous cysts are harmless and generally do not pose any complications if left untreated. However, if they enlarge in size and get infected, they may cause the following complications if left untreated:
Sebaceous cysts can be effectively prevented by following certain simple precautions:
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Sebaceous cysts are harmless and painful cysts of the skin that are usually benign (non-cancerous). But rarely, they can become malignant (cancerous) with the following symptoms:
Sebaceous cysts are normally not painful and are harmless, but they can become red, sore, and tender if infected. This causes swelling around the cyst, with foul-smelling drainage leaking out of the cyst.
Yes. Sebaceous cysts can grow gradually over a period of time. Some may get so big that they may interfere with your routine activities and may negatively impact your quality of life. For example- if you have a sebaceous cyst on your back, it may make sleeping in a supine position difficult. In such cases, the only option is to surgically remove them.
DO NOT try to remove sebaceous cysts at home. It is not recommended to remove sebaceous cysts at home as it will not be done under aseptic conditions. Unhygienic removal of cysts will only worsen your condition.
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