Sebaceous cysts are very common and occur in a variety of regions of the body. Cysts are lesions containing fluid or semi liquid material. They are usually benign (non-cancerous) but can become painful if they become infected.
Sebaceous cysts often result from a blocked sebaceous gland. Sebaceous glands are in the skin and are responsible for producing sebum. Sebum is an oil based substance that covers hair and skin. When these glands become blocked they can result in the formation of sebaceous cysts. Subsequently sebaceous cysts are often found on hair bearing skin such as the scalp and back.
Sebaceous cysts are commonly found on the face, neck, scalp and back. They feel like a small firm swelling under the skin. They are often closely related to a hair follicle. The skin over the top of the cyst may have a small punctum (opening). When infected sebaceous cysts become red and inflamed and are often quite painful. At this point antibiotics are normally required. However, often antibiotics alone cannot resolve the infection and hence an incision and drainage is required to release any pus contained within the cyst.
Sebaceous cysts can either be drained or excised. Simple drainage is normally only a temporary measure and a collection is likely to recur. However, when completely excised sebaceous cysts are unlikely to come back. If infected, they should be treated with oral antibiotics. If extremely swollen and painful they often need to be incised and drained, much like an abscess.
This is a very quick procedure. Topical local anaesthetic cream is applied over the cyst. A small needle is used to lance the sebaceous cyst. It’s contents are then expressed. Normally a little bit of pressure is required at this stage and this can be quite uncomfortable. Unfortunately, although given, local anaesthetic is often less effective in the context of infection or an abscess/cyst full of pus.
Complete removal of a cyst is a more definitive treatment option. This is performed under local anaesthetic and aside from the sting of the anaesthetic is a painless procedure. Once completely numb a small incision is made over the top of the cyst and all it contents are drained. The ‘sac’ of the cyst is then freed from the surrounding tissue. Once freed up the sac is completely excised (cut out). The little cut in the skin is then stitched closed. The cosmetic finish is normally excellent. The rate of recurrence is quite small after complete removal.
There is normally a small scar left over the site of the cyst. Rarely if the cyst was infected the scar can be slightly more prominent. Also, when found over the chest or back, especially in Afro-Caribbean or Asian patients, a keloid scar can develop. We can advise further on the risks of keloid formation in clinic after a full assessment.
Mr Irfan Halim
MBBS MSc FRCS GDipLaw DIC MBA
All minor surgery services at Rejuvence Medical are provided by Mr. Irfan Halim. Mr Halim is a Consultant General Surgeon. He has a specialist interest in gastrointestinal and laparoscopic surgery as well as endoscopy.
Qualified from Guy’s and St.Thomas’ Medical School with Distinction, Mr Halim subsequently trained in General Surgery sub specialising in Laparoscopic Gastrointestinal Surgery. He is blessed with fantastic surgical skills and always strives for the best possible outcomes. Mr Halim provides a bespoke treatment package for all his patients.
Mr Halim is extremely well sought after, practising at several highly prestigious private establishments including BMI The London Independent Hospital, The Blackheath Hospital, BMI Hendon Hospitals as well as Highgate Hospital. He performs a large number of cases, seeing 300 new patients a month and performs on average more than 1200 procedures per year. His outcomes are excellent and regularly audits his work. Friends and family as well as colleagues always favour Mr Halim over others. We are so pleased to have him as part of the team at Rejuvence Medical. You really could not be in better hands.
Sebaceous Cyst treatment at Rejuvence Medical
The removal of cysts and moles is now considered a cosmetic procedure and hence not available on the NHS. At Rejuvence Medical we specialise in the treatment and removal of lumps and bumps anywhere on the body. We have multiple solutions available and are experts at different techniques. Book a free consultation to discuss your concerns and we are sure we will be able to help you with excellent results at an affordable price.