Why Do Sebaceous Cysts Form?

Sebaceous cysts form because of swollen and clogged hair follicles, blocked sebaceous glands and excessive testosterone production. Hereditary conditions such as basal cell nevus syndrome and Gardner’s Syndrome are also considered as causes behind sebaceous cysts. Sebaceous cysts may or may not be infected.

Despite the name of the condition, most of the cases hardly have anything to do with the sebaceous glands, which are the glands present inside the skin near the hair follicles in the skin secreting oils known as sebum. However, it is not the sebum, but keratin, that makes up the content of the protruding cyst, making the condition pretty much a misnomer. Most of these cysts either rise from hair follicles or the epidermis, or the outer layer of the skin. Cysts rising from sebaceous glands are rare in occurrence and are known as steatocystoma instead of sebaceous cysts.

Sebaceous cysts are nothing malicious like tumors, and do not require any medical treatment that may affect the rest of the body. However, the primary treatment of this rather uncomfortable and unsightly skin condition is surgical excision. In case of an infected cyst, antibiotics are prescribed before the surgery. The cyst incision is disinfected first before it is removed. The surgical procedure is performed by administering local anesthetic and to cut down the swelling using a scalpel, or cutting using a lance if the cyst is not large enough. The best results are achieved if the cyst can be removed in one piece.

In other cases, methods such as scraping are used to remove the remaining fragments of the cyst. When the cyst cannot be removed in one piece, it causes damage to skin and the rate of cure is not perfect. An antiseptic ribbon with iodine solution is used to dress the wound and several days are needed for the complete healing of the wound.

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