Sebaceous Cyst Removal

A sebaceous cyst is a slightly hardened, fluid-filled bump within the skin. They can be of various sizes ranging from 1 to 5 centimeters in diameter. They can occur anywhere on the body, but they are often found on the face, chest, and back. Sebaceous cysts usually do not cause any problems, apart from their appearance. They are non-cancerous, not life-threatening, but they can cause discomfort to the patient. They are usually painless unless they become inflamed or infected.

They arise from the oil/sebum-producing glands called sebaceous glands. Cysts may develop if the gland or its duct is damaged or gets blocked. This may be due to trauma to the area in the form of a scratch, a surgical wound, or acne. Sebaceous cysts grow slowly indicating that the trauma might have happened weeks to months ago.

Diagnosis of a Sebaceous Cyst

It is diagnosed by simple physical examination. If the cyst appears unusual, malignancy is to be ruled out. Tests for the same include biopsy, CT scan, and ultrasound.


A dermatologist may remove a sebaceous cyst if it is causing problems like infection, pain, and swelling of the cyst. Before starting the procedure local anesthesia is given to numb the area, followed by antiseptic preparation of the site. 

The best treatment is to ensure complete removal because if a part of the sac wall of the sebaceous cyst remains, the cyst may regrow. Your dermatologist may use one of the following methods to remove sebaceous cyst:

  1.  Wide cyst excision, where the cyst is completely removed but it can leave a scar.
  2.  Minimal cyst excision, which causes minimal scarring but carries a risk of recurrence.


Post-procedure antibiotics to prevent infection are prescribed until the healing process completes.