A sebaceous cyst is a benign, closed, firm sac that lies in the skin and often forms a dome-shaped lump attached to the epidermis that can be moved over underlying tissues. It occurs primarily on the face, neck, shoulder, or chest (hair-bearing areas of the body). It is extremely common in the population and may occur at any age. They are not contagious and do not run the risk of developing cancer (in other words, they’re benign). However, they can get infected and be a bit unsightly. To start the healing process, start with Step 1 below.
Use a warm compress over the cyst. A towel that’s warmed to 37-40 °C (100-105°F) may be applied 3-4 times a day for no more than 10-30 minutes. This dilates the blood vessels and the warm sensation diminishes the pain by acting as a counter-irritant that masks the pain brought about by the inflammation.
- Sebaceous cysts may be covered if not causing the patient distress; most are non-dangerous and are only bothersome aesthetically. However, if it’s infected, seeking medical treatment is wise.
Keep the cyst clean. Be sure to routinely and thoroughly wash the skin with non-irritating antimicrobial soap in running water. Pat dry the skin using a clean cloth or towel and cover with a sterile gauze – keep the gauze dry at all times.
- Avoid putting cosmetics and skin care products on the site of the cyst. This may cause further irritation and infection.
Never pop the cyst on your own. This type of cyst dries up naturally; trying to pop it would put you at risk for further infection and may cause permanent scarring. Resist the temptation — if it bothers you, get it removed by a doctor.
- If a cyst burst due to healing or accidental popping causing a break in the skin; wash the area thoroughly in running water using a non-irritating antimicrobial soap.
Seek medical intervention if there’s a noticeable infection. If signs of infection occur — pain, swelling, redness, and warmth sensation — notify your doctor immediately for appropriate medical intervention. It’s a very routine procedure and nothing to worry about; however, if left alone, you can become septic, which is a very, very serious condition.
- Even if your cyst doesn’t seem infected, you may wish to visit a doctor. A very simple incision will be made, and the cyst can be gone in a matter of minutes. You may need to get 1 or 2 stitches once the cyst is removed.
Source: WikiHow https://www.wikihow.com/Treat-an-Infected-Sebaceous-Cyst
Co-authored by Jurdy Dugdale, RN
“THIS VIDEO MAY CONTAIN DERMATOLOGIC SURGICAL AND/OR PROCEDURAL CONTENT. THE CONTENT SEEN IN THIS VIDEO IS PROVIDED ONLY FOR MEDICAL EDUCATION PURPOSES AND IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS, OR TREATMENT.“