Please note that we do not specialise in Sebaceous Cyst removal.
This information is provided for informational purposes only. Please see your GP to recommend a doctor to remove a cyst.
What are the clinical features?
How do I know it’s a sebaceous cyst?
The cyst can be described as a firm skin-coloured lump which almost feels as though it is just “underneath” the skin and you’ll be able to move the lump around.
There may be a tiny central plug at the top of the cyst. This punctum represents the follicle from which the cyst developed.
A sebaceous cyst is usually found on the scalp, face neck or back.
The main alternative diagnosis to a sebaceous cyst is a lipoma. A lipoma is a benign fatty growth. The lipoma is usually softer and a little deeper than a cyst. The surface of a large lipoma may feel a little lumpy because the benign tumour consists of lumps of fat.
Gallery of sebaceous cyst
Please click on the images for details.
What is the significance?
It is very difficult to distinguish between a ruptured cyst and an infected cyst. The cyst is usually tender, red and discharging.
The inflammation caused by either a rupture or infection may break down the cyst wall to the extent that the cyst does not reoccur.
More commonly, though, the cyst will come back. A cyst that has been previously inflamed will be scarred and be more difficult to remove in which case the minimally invasive technique of removal is not a possibility.
The decision to get one removed is an individual decision for the person to make. These are the sorts of things to take into account:
- How much the cyst bothers them cosmetically
- Cyst removal is not generally covered by medicare
- Removal always leaves a scar although minimally invasive techniques leaves the smallest scar
- Whether the cyst “gets in the way” – such as brushing hair or putting on clothing
- Concern about a tumour – though extremely unlikely
- There is a small risk of a cyst becoming spontaneously infected or perforating
- Previously infected or ruptured cysts are difficult to remove and the result may not be that great
- How many there are – there can be multiple cysts and they do take time to remove
- Cysts usually stay for life – they rarely go on their own
There are some small risks involved with excision:
- Recurrence after a cyst is removed
- Infection or bleeding after excision (this is quite unusual)
Please note that South East Skin Clinic does not specialise in Sebaceous cyst removal. This information is provided for general information.