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Sebaceous Cysts: Understanding Causes and Treatment

Sebaceous cysts are a common skin condition that can cause discomfort and concern for many individuals.

These fluid-filled sacs develop when the sebaceous gland, responsible for producing oil in our skin, becomes blocked or damaged.

In this blog post, we will explore the various causes of these large cysts and the factors contributing to their development.

We will also discuss treatment options, including surgical interventions such as minimal excision.

Understanding the benefits of surgical removal is crucial for patients with more complex cases or recurrent epidermoid cysts associated with conditions like Gardner’s syndrome.

Knowledge about the sources of sebaceous cysts and potential treatments will enable you to make wiser choices regarding your skin health.

Table of Contents:

Understand the Causes of Sebaceous Cysts

Sebaceous cysts are non-cancerous, slow-growing bumps that develop beneath the skin.

They often occur due to blocked sebaceous glands and can be uncomfortable or unsightly. Understanding the common causes of these cysts is essential in determining appropriate treatment options and preventing future occurrences. In this section, we will investigate some of the causes of sebaceous cysts.


A family history of sebaceous cysts may increase your likelihood of developing them. Genetic conditions like Gardner Syndrome and Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome predispose individuals to multiple benign skin growths, including sebaceous cysts.

Hormonal Imbalances

Hormonal imbalances, particularly those related to testosterone levels, can cause overactive sebum production leading to clogged pores and hair follicles – prime breeding grounds for sebaceous cyst formation. Hormonal fluctuations may also contribute to cyst generation.

Skin Trauma

Injuries or damage to your skin’s surface can increase the risk of developing a sebaceous cyst. This includes puncture wounds from injections or piercings, scratches from pets’ claws, burns from hot objects or chemicals, and even acne breakouts. Traumas inflicted on the skin can disrupt sebaceous glands, resulting in obstructions that form cysts.

Personal Hygiene

Poor personal hygiene may also contribute to the development of sebaceous cysts. Not regularly cleansing your skin or using harsh, irritating products can cause a build-up of dead skin cells, oil, dirt, and bacteria on your skin’s surface – all factors that increase the likelihood of blocked pores and hair follicles.

Pre-existing Skin Conditions

If you have pre-existing skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, or rosacea, you may be more susceptible to developing sebaceous cysts due to inflammation or increased production of oils in your skin.

To prevent future occurrences and seek appropriate treatment for existing sebaceous cysts, it is crucial first to understand their causes. Individuals can take proactive steps towards maintaining healthy skincare habits by identifying potential risk factors such as genetics, hormonal imbalances, or pre-existing skin conditions.


Key Takeaway: Sebaceous cysts can be caused by several factors, from genetics to poor hygiene. Identifying any potential risk factors to prevent future occurrences and seeking the right treatment is essential.

Explore Treatment Options for Sebaceous Cysts

Knowing the various treatment options available is essential to managing them effectively. The best course of action will depend on your cysts’ size, location, and severity.

Surgical Removal

Surgical removal is often the most effective treatment option for sebaceous cysts. This procedure involves a dermatologist making an incision in the skin to remove the entire cyst sac and its contents.

Minimal Excision Technique

The minimal excision technique is a less invasive alternative to traditional surgery that can be used for smaller or non-infected sebaceous cysts. It involves using a small incision to drain the cyst’s contents before removing it entirely through a tiny hole in your skin.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy, specifically carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers, has effectively treated sebaceous cysts by vaporizing their outer layers without damaging surrounding tissue. This method may be beneficial if you have multiple or hard-to-reach cysts. It is essential to consult with a dermatologist before contemplating laser therapy.

Topical Medications

In some cases, topical medications can help manage sebaceous cysts. Over-the-counter creams containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can help keep your skin clear and free from bacteria that could cause infections.

Warm Compresses and Home Remedies

If you’re dealing with smaller or non-infected sebaceous cysts, warm compresses can provide relief by softening the cyst’s contents and promoting drainage. Soak a clean cloth in warm water and place it on the cyst for 10-15 minutes multiple times daily to reduce any associated pain.

Remember that each person’s situation is unique; therefore, it’s crucial to consult with a professional at our London Dermatology Clinic before deciding on any treatment plan. Our experienced team will evaluate your needs and recommend appropriate solutions for you.

Key Takeaway: Treatment choices for sebaceous cysts range from surgical excision and laser therapy to topical medications. For smaller or non-infected cysts, warm compresses and home remedies may provide relief. For the best treatment plan, seeking a dermatologist with expertise in dealing with sebaceous cysts is advisable.

Experience the Benefits of Surgical Removal

Surgical removal of sebaceous cysts can provide lasting relief and improved skin health, making it an attractive treatment option for those dealing with the condition. A skilled dermatologist or surgeon typically performs this procedure at a reputable clinic like London Dermatology Clinic.

Long-Term Relief from Sebaceous Cysts

Surgical removal offers a more permanent solution than other treatments, such as topical medications or laser therapy.

By removing the entire cyst sac during surgery, there’s less chance that it will reoccur in the future. This means you won’t have to worry about dealing with recurring symptoms or undergoing multiple procedures to address your condition.

Faster Recovery Time

The recovery time following surgical removal is relatively short compared to other methods. Most people can resume their typical daily routines shortly after the surgical procedure, with minimal discomfort. Additionally, any discomfort experienced post-surgery can be managed effectively using over-the-counter pain relievers and proper wound care techniques recommended by your doctor.

Better Cosmetic Results

Sebaceous cysts often leave unsightly scars when they rupture or are treated using non-surgical methods like manually draining them. However, when removed surgically by an experienced professional, scarring is minimized due to precise incisions made during the procedure. As a result, patients experience better cosmetic outcomes and improved self-confidence in their appearance.

Key Takeaway: Surgical removal of sebaceous cysts is a practical, long-term solution that can provide quick relief and improved cosmetic results. With the right dermatologist or surgeon at a quality clinic like London Dermatology Clinic, you can return to normal activities in no time.


Frequently Asked Questions.

What causes a sebaceous cyst?

The usual cause is the blockage or damage to a hair follicle or oil gland (sebaceous gland). This can occur due to injury, acne, excessive production of skin oils, or an infected hair follicle. As a result, keratin and other substances accumulate within the blocked area, forming a cyst.

What is the fastest way to get rid of a sebaceous cyst?

The fastest and most effective way to remove a sebaceous cyst is through surgical excision by a dermatologist. Other treatment options include corticosteroid injections, draining the contents using fine-needle aspiration, or applying warm compresses for smaller inflamed cysts.

What is inside a sebaceous cyst?

A sebaceous cyst contains semi-solid material made up primarily of keratin – a protein found in skin cells. The content may also include dead skin cells and oily secretions from surrounding glands. The consistency varies from thick and cheese-like to pasty or liquid depending on its age and size.

Can you squeeze out a sebaceous cyst?

Squeezing out a sebaceous cyst should be avoided as it can lead to infection, inflammation, scarring or incomplete removal, which increases the chances for recurrence. It’s best to consult with your doctor, who may recommend appropriate treatments, such as drainage procedures under sterile conditions if necessary.



Sebaceous cysts can be a source of discomfort and embarrassment, but with the right treatment options available, they don’t have to remain.

Surgical intervention is an effective and swift solution to eliminating sebaceous cysts, allowing you to enjoy better skin health.

With its many benefits, surgical removal may be the best option for those seeking relief from their sebaceous cyst woes.

At the London Dermatology Clinic, we provide expert solutions to sebaceous cysts. Schedule an appointment today and get the help you need for your skin condition.

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