Sebaceous cysts (EPIDERMOID AND PILAR CYSTS)
Sebaceous cysts are smooth round lumps just under the skin surface. They consist of closed sacs with a lining containing a cheesy, odorous material looking rather like toothpaste.
Why choose Dr Boone for removal of you skin cyst?
Dr Doron Boone specialises in the removal of skin cysts under local anaesthetic. He is very experienced at removing epidermoid and pilar cysts and has excised hundreds of them in the course of his career with excellent cosmetic results.
What would happen to my cyst if I decide not to have any treatment?
Sebaceous cysts are benign (non-cancerous) and the majority cause no harm or problems. Over time, they can increase in size and become more noticeable.
Sometimes these cysts may become inflamed either due to infection or rupture of the cyst lining. When this occurs, the cyst becomes painful, red and quite warm to touch. An infected cyst may discharge pale yellow, smelly material.
The main reason why some people want them removed is for cosmetic reasons, as they can look unsightly or become infected.
What is an Epidermoid cyst?
The lining of an epidermoid cyst is made from cells which are normally found on the skin surface. Epidermoid cysts can affect anyone but are most common in young and middle-aged adults. They can appear anywhere on the skin but develop most commonly on the face, neck, chest, and upper back.
Understandably, sebaceous (epidermoid) cysts on the face can be unsightly and on occasion disfiguring. These cysts also commonly appear on the neck and trunk where they are often much larger.
What is a Pilar Cyst?
The lining of a pilar cyst is made up of cells like those found in the roots of hairs.
Pilar cysts are most commonly found on the scalp and are often multiple. Pilar cysts usually appear firm, slightly mobile nodules, particularly when found under the skin of the scalp. Similar cysts may also be found on the genital skin. Pilar cysts can become red and sore if inflamed or infected and may discharge some foul-smelling pus. Those on the scalp can catch on the comb.
How are sebaceous cysts removed?
Surgical removal of these cysts is usually a simple procedure and can be performed under local anaesthetic. Generally, it is better to remove the cysts before they become too large or become infected because:
- Larger cysts require a larger incision.
- An infected cyst becomes adherent to surrounding tissues under the skin and so their removal becomes a little more difficult to perform, with a greater risk of recurrence.
The skin is closed with soluble stitches, which dissolve over time.
My cyst is red and inflamed – should I have it removed soon?
Surgery is best deferred until an infection has completely settled to reduce the risk of a wound infection and a more noticeable scar.