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General Information Regarding Sebaceous Cysts

There are a variety of medical conditions which take the form of a cyst on the skin region. One particular cyst which may form is the sebaceous cyst. When individuals have a growth on their body, they are first and foremost concerned and also extremely anxious to determine what the particular growth may be. The same rings true for those individuals with sebaceous cysts, which are also known as pilar cysts and epidermoid cysts. It is important to know a bit more about a cyst of this type and the causes, diagnosis and treatments thereof.

Sebaceous Cysts: What They Are

A sebaceous cyst is a sac below the skin which fills with a fluid and protrudes from the skin. The sac is filled with fluid of an oily, white consistent matter. The sebaceous cyst appears to the naked eye to be a bump on the skin but may look inflamed and extra swollen if it is infected. These cysts mainly appear in certain areas on the body including the back, chest, scalp and possibly genital region.

What Causes Sebaceous Cysts and Who Are Mostly Affected

Sebaceous cysts may form on both male and female individuals of various ages. However, it is important to note that sebaceous cysts often appear on those individuals who are going through puberty at the time. Since individuals within this stage are usually experiencing acne and other clogged pores, they are also prone to having sebaceous cysts which are caused by a clogging of sorts. Acne, in fact, has been viewed as an introductory medical condition to sebaceous cysts as these cysts usually form on those people who have been experiencing bad cases of acne outbreaks. Sebaceous cysts may form as a result of clogging due to acne which causes cysts of this type to form under the skin. Acne in individuals, especially teenagers, is caused due to extreme hormonal changes, changes in hair follicles and bacteria. These things all in turn may result in the formation of the sebaceous cysts.

As acne has genetic links, those whose family members have had bad cases of acne may also experience a worsening of this condition. Certain other factors that may increase the outbreak of acne and as a result cause cysts of this type to form often include heavy use of makeup, menstrual cycles and exposure to grease-like substances.

How to Tell If One Has Sebaceous Cysts

Sebaceous cysts are highly recognizable by their characteristics. The cyst is a smooth-surfaced lump that can range in size up to about 5 centimeters. It is whitish in color or may retain the tone of one’s skin color and may become irritated due to constant contact. Sebaceous cysts may also be inflamed and painful at times. The best way to know for sure if what one has on their skin is indeed a sebaceous cyst is to go to a medical health professional for a physical examination.

Diagnosis of a Sebaceous Cyst

The primary ways in which a doctor will diagnose a sebaceous cyst is via a thorough medical history review and physical examination. Once these are completed, the doctor should be able to properly diagnose the sebaceous cyst if that is in fact what it is. Once diagnosis has been given, it is then time to focus on possible treatment aspects and any side effects, both long-term and short-term, which may be a factor.

Treatment for Sebaceous Cysts

Usually, sebaceous cysts do not require any sort of treatment. They will frequently disappear in due time on their own. However, there are certain factors which make treatment sometimes necessary or recommended. A treatment may be ordered if the cyst is constantly inflamed and infected due to irritation by other body parts or clothing. In this situation, a sebaceous cyst will often be drained of the fluid. When doctors drain cysts of this type, they usually only have to make a very small incision in the cyst in order to do so. Should the cyst be of such a large size that it requires removal, the doctor will perform this small procedure and remove the entire cyst so that it should not come back again in the near future. Doctors may also prescribe specific antibiotics to take care of infected sebaceous cysts. One should be aware of the fact that sebaceous cysts do tend to come back after a period of time, even after treatment sometimes.

Possible Side Effects of Sebaceous Cyst Treatment

Certain side effects are possible at times which may include side effects due to the antibiotics which the individual is taking for an infected cyst, allergic reactions or infection. For the most part, side effects resulting from sebaceous cyst treatment and/or removal are minimal.

Prevention of Sebaceous Cysts

Sebaceous cysts are often hard to prevent from occurring. As these cysts are often caused by the condition of acne, there are ways in which to prevent or limit outbreaks of acne which may in turn help to prevent sebaceous cysts from appearing. Some techniques for preventing acne include frequent face washing and cleansing, leaving acne alone which means no picking or prodding, using sensitive skincare products and avoiding greasy atmospheres. These are just a few ways in which to prevent acne outbreaks and ultimately sebaceous cyst formations as well.

Another way in which to prevent the development of sebaceous cysts is to visit a dermatologist for skin care health. Since these cysts result from acne, the dermatologist can help by showing various techniques for maintaining healthy skin and may even recommend certain skin treatments to aid in the prevention of acne.

Sebaceous cysts are a non-serious type of cyst. They are non-cancerous and usually go away on their own. One might consider having a doctor take a look at the cysts in order to form a firm diagnosis and take care of any inflamed or infected cysts that may be present on the skin. The positive aspect of all of this is that sebaceous cysts will not be around forever and will usually dissolve on their own.

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