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Sebaceous cyst

Sebaceous cyst: Introduction

A sebaceous cyst is a type of cyst that forms in the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin. Sebaceous cysts are common, noncancerous, and are generally not a serious condition.

A sebaceous cyst, also sometimes called an epidermal cyst, forms when keratin, a protein that makes of the epidermis, blocks a sebaceous gland. This creates a contained sac that fills with a fatty white substance secreted by the sebaceous gland called sebum. The contents of the sebaceous are often referred to as resembling cottage cheese. Sebaceous cysts can be caused by skin trauma, swollen hair follicles, high levels of testosterone, and some hereditary syndromes.

The primary symptom of a sebaceous cyst is a painless nodule or pale lump in the skin. Complications can include infection of a sebaceous cyst that results in further symptoms. For more information on symptoms, refer to symptoms of sebaceous cyst.

A diagnosis of a sebaceous cyst is generally made by its appearance. However, a biopsy may be performed to check for other conditions, such as infection or skin cancer. It is possible that recognition and diagnosis of a sebaceous cyst is delayed or missed because symptoms of the condition are often mild and cause no discomfort or can resemble other diseases. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of sebaceous cyst.

Often a sebaceous cyst requires no treatment, and it may disappear by itself. If a sebaceous cyst becomes very large or infected, treatment may include medications, local applications of heat, and surgical incision. Sebaceous cysts that are removed or go away on their own can reappear. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of sebaceous cyst. ...more »

Sebaceous cyst: Cyst producing sebum. More detailed information about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of Sebaceous cyst is available below.

Sebaceous cyst: Symptoms

Symptoms of a sebaceous cyst include the development of a painless round bump in the skin. Sebaceous cysts vary in size and are generally pale colored and are movable under the skin. Sebaceous cysts can appear anywhere on the body except on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. They tend to arise in places that are hairy, such as the scalp and a man ...more symptoms »

Sebaceous cyst: Treatments

Because sebaceous cysts are often harmless and cause no pain, they may require no treatment. They may also go away on their own.

Occasionally, a sebaceous cyst may become infected, or it may grow large enough to cause embarrassment or discomfort by rubbing on clothing or interfering with daily activities. Sometimes using a warm compress a couple of times a day may help the cyst to ...more treatments »

Sebaceous cyst: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of sebaceous cyst may be delayed or missed because the nodules may be small and often do not cause discomfort. However, it is important not to assume that skin nodules or growths are harmless. A sebaceous cyst can look similar to more serious conditions, such as skin cancer, actinic keratosis, MRSA infection or boils. Skin nodules or growth ...more misdiagnosis »

Symptoms of Sebaceous cyst

  • Painless smooth skin lump
  • Thick yellowy sebum in the lump
  • Sebaceous cysts may appear in various places:
    • Back sebaceous cyst
    • Scalp sebaceous cyst
  • more symptoms...»

Treatments for Sebaceous cyst

Wrongly Diagnosed with Sebaceous cyst?

Sebaceous cyst: Related Patient Stories

Types of Sebaceous cyst

Sebaceous cyst: Complications

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Causes of Sebaceous cyst

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Disease Topics Related To Sebaceous cyst

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Misdiagnosis and Sebaceous cyst

Psoriasis often undiagnosed cause of skin symptoms in children: Children who suffer from the skin disorder called psoriasis can often go undiagnosed. The main problem is that psoriasis is rare in children, more »

Sebaceous cyst: Research Doctors & Specialists

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Evidence Based Medicine Research for Sebaceous cyst

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Sebaceous cyst: Animations

Prognosis for Sebaceous cyst

Prognosis for Sebaceous cyst: Most sebaceous cysts are harmless and merely a cosmetic annoyance; occasionally they can become infected.

Research about Sebaceous cyst

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Statistics for Sebaceous cyst

Sebaceous cyst: Broader Related Topics

Sebaceous cyst Message Boards

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Definitions of Sebaceous cyst:

Intradermal or subcutaneous saclike structure, the wall of which is stratified epithelium containing keratohyalin granules. - (Source - Diseases Database)

A common cyst of the skin; filled with fatty matter (sebum) that is secreted by a sebaceous gland that has been blocked - (Source - WordNet 2.1)

Sebaceous cyst is listed as a "rare disease" by the Office of Rare Diseases (ORD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This means that Sebaceous cyst, or a subtype of Sebaceous cyst, affects less than 200,000 people in the US population.
Source - National Institutes of Health (NIH)


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