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Sebaceous cysts are benign (non-cancerous) lumps of fatty tissue that sit just beneath the surface of the skin and contain air, fluid or semi-fluid material. They’re commonly found throughout the body, particularly on the neck, face and upper body. Although some cysts may eventually dissolve on their own, others may not and patients may choose to have them surgically removed, especially if they’re in an aesthetically sensitive area or if they generate some degree of physical discomfort.
If you suspect that you may have a cyst, do not attempt to pick at it or burst it as if it were an ordinary pimple, as this will only make the condition worse. Instead, consult with a doctor who can make a diagnosis for you and treat it accordingly.
A cyst will continue to grow if left untreated, sometimes causing the lining to rupture. This creates a swelling of the adjacent tissue and overlapping skin. This resulting condition is commonly confused with an infection and is incorrectly addressed with medication such as antibiotics. Although cysts pose no immediate danger to your health, they can be quite painful if they become infected and their appearance can be a source of anguish, especially if they continue to enlarge.
All cysts are removed under local anaesthesia. Injections are made around the treated area and a careful incision is made in the skin that covers the cyst. The cyst wall is then meticulously sliced open and extracted, along with its inner contents. The resulting cavity is then sealed with stitches, which are left in for approximately 1 – 2 weeks. This is then covered with a special bandage. Generally, when cysts are surgically removed, they do not come back.
Although considered minor surgery, cyst removal does still carry potential risks. These can include such things as scarring (can be treated with skin needling), infection and numbness at the site of the treated area. There’s also a remote possibility that an un-extracted remnant of the cyst wall will become buried inside the resulting scar tissue, which can in-turn lead to the cyst reappearing again.
Yes. Aside from surgery, it is possible to eliminate the sebaceous cyst by draining the fluid from it, but this method is not recommended as there’s a good chance that the cyst will return again.
Your doctor can diagnose if you have a sebaceous cyst, simply by examining the lump. If your doctor determines that the lump is abnormal, they may arrange for subsequent tests, to eliminate the possibility of a cancerous tumour.
There are a number of possible causes for the development of sebaceous cysts including clogged sebaceous glands, abnormal testosterone levels and the use of anabolic steroids.
If you think that you may have a sebaceous cyst and would like to have it examined by a doctor, arrange for an appointment with Skin Clinic Robina today, specialists in sebaceous cyst removal surgery.