What Are Your Treatment Options for Sebaceous Cysts?

Woman outside with sebaceous cyst What Are Your Treatment Options for Sebaceous Cysts?

Sebaceous cysts are a common skin concern, and these spots can be both painful and frustrating. Fortunately, with a visit to a dermatologist, you can receive a diagnosis and proper treatment for this skin spot. Here’s what you should know about sebaceous cysts and your treatment options.

How to Identify and Treat Sebaceous Cysts

What Are Sebaceous Cysts?

Sebaceous cysts are benign cysts that develop under the skin, particularly on the face, neck, scalp, and back. These skin cysts typically occur when a sebaceous gland (the gland that produces oil on the skin) becomes blocked, often because of an injury to the area. However, they can also develop due to a misformed duct or ruptured hair follicle.

Sebaceous cysts grow slowly and are often filled with a liquid made up of keratin and other substances. The cyst may be painful to the touch, especially when it grows larger. While many cysts will remain the same size, others will grow and potentially rupture. A ruptured cyst may put you at risk for infection, so it’s important to see a dermatologist if you notice that the spot is swollen or ruptured.

What Treatments Are Available?

Smaller sebaceous cysts may disappear without treatment. However, larger cysts typically require medical attention. You should see a dermatologist if your cyst is growing, becomes painful, or simply doesn’t go away. It’s important to avoid popping or draining your cyst at home, as this can lead to infection. The doctor may recommend the following cyst treatments:

  • Draining: If a cyst is full of fluid, your dermatologist can puncture the surface and drain the fluid. While this method can speed up healing, the cyst may come back.
  • Surgical Excision: Large or persistent cysts may require surgical removal. The dermatologist will use a method called surgical excision to remove the entire cyst. This treatment typically prevents the cysts from coming back.
  • Steroid Injections: A steroid injection can decrease inflammation in the cyst, making it less prevalent and painful. The cyst may then go away on its own. If it persists, the above treatments may be necessary.
  • Antibiotics: Your dermatologist may prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection after they have removed or drained the cyst.

The right treatment for sebaceous cysts depends on the size and form of the cyst. Following cyst treatment, be sure to call your dermatologist if the cyst returns.

Can You Prevent Sebaceous Cysts?

While cyst removal can prevent recurrence, most cysts are not preventable. This is particularly true for sebaceous cysts, since they can develop after trauma to the area or due to a misformed gland. However, you can prevent sebaceous cysts from growing larger or becoming infected by seeing your dermatologist for treatment.

Sebaceous cysts can be uncomfortable, but the team at Pacific Dermatology Specialists is here to help. Our skin professionals offer cyst removal and treatment among our medical and surgical dermatology services. With locations in Seal Beach, CA and other communities in the Greater Los Angeles area, we also offer cosmetic services to give your skin the boost in needs after the cyst has healed. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to book an appointment.

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