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What is Sebaceous Cysts

These are non cancerous or benign cysts that arise from cells in the outermost layer of the skin (epidermal) or cells in the base of the hair follicles (pilar cysts). They contain dirty white smelly material that looks like tooth paste.

Who often gets them?

They are most common in young and middle aged adults. It most commonly affects the head and neck area and the trunk. For most people who develop this, there is no apparent cause. However there can be a familial tendency for some people and it may be a prominent feature in people with certain syndromes. In the latter case, they are commonly multiple.


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What would you complain of?


It may look like a pimple. It may have a depression or punctum on the surface with a black head. The cyst may increase in size over a long period. It may suffer from recurrent infection, inflammation and rapid increase in size with pain, redness, tenderness and need for repeated courses of antibiotics and sometimes incision and drainage.


You may request removal because you dislike the appearance or it may be catching on your clothing such as a bra or irritating when you comb your hair or to put an end to recurrent episodes of inflammation.