What is a sebaceous cyst?

Skin cysts are small, mostly painless bumps under the skin. A cyst is actually a sac containing some material. 

What is the cause of sebaceous cyst?

A sebaceous cyst is a type of skin cyst, found commonly on face, neck or on the back near the midline. Asymptomatic lump with a black dot is noticed usually accidentally. It is very slow growing, with size measuring up to few centimetres. It gives lump or mass like feeling inside the skin, with an overlying black dot. A paste-like, cheesy, foul-smelling material may come out.This paste-like material is keratin, and not sebum or oil. Blockade of the opening of a hair follicle or certain glands, leading to accumulation of keratin in a sac-like structure. 

What are symptoms? How does it affect me?

Though usually asymptomatic, inflammation of cyst can cause reddening of overlying skin. Sebaceous cyst might get infected, with drainage of foul-smelling pus and cheesy material, healing with a scar. The patient needs to be given a course of antibiotics, with complete pus drainage and cyst removal once infection or inflammation is relieved. 

What is the treatment for a sebaceous cyst?

Recommended treatment is a sebaceous cyst. The whole sac needs to be taken out, to prevent recurrence. The procedure is done under small local anaesthesia. The sack is removed through the small incision. The bigger sac may require wider incision and a stitch or two might be required.