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Sebaceous cysts are benign (non-cancerous) masses that occur due to the blockage of oil glands under the skin. Although they are usually harmless, they may require treatment due to aesthetic concerns or the risk of infection. In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment methods of sebaceous cysts.

What is a Sebaceous Cyst?

A sebaceous cyst is a mass formed under the skin due to the blockage of oil glands, filled with oil or dead skin cells. They are commonly found on the face, neck, back, and shoulders.


  • Felt as a round, small lump under the skin.
  • Usually painless, but if infected, pain and redness can occur.
  • When pressed, a white or yellow fluid may come out.

Why Do Sebaceous Cysts Form?

The exact causes of sebaceous cysts are not well understood, but some factors can increase the risk:

  • Genetic Predisposition: People with a family history of sebaceous cysts are more likely to develop them. Genetic factors may predispose individuals to the blockage of oil glands.
  • Skin Injuries: Cuts, scratches, or traumas on the skin can trigger the formation of sebaceous cysts. These injuries can lead to the blockage of oil glands and cyst formation.
  • Hormonal Changes: Changes in hormone levels, especially during puberty and menopause, can increase the formation of cysts. Hormones can affect oil glands, contributing to cyst formation.
  • Skincare Products: Some skincare products, especially oil-based ones, can cause the blockage of oil glands and cyst formation.

Diagnosis Methods for Sebaceous Cysts

The diagnosis of sebaceous cysts is usually made through physical examination. The doctor may request some tests to evaluate the size, shape, and content of the cyst:

  • Ultrasound: Used to visualize the internal structure of the cyst. This method helps determine if the cyst is fluid or solid.
  • Biopsy: A sample taken from the cyst is examined in a laboratory. This method is used to determine whether the cyst is benign or malignant.

Treatment Methods for Sebaceous Cysts

Treatment of sebaceous cysts is usually simple and may require surgical intervention. Here are the most common treatment methods:

Surgical Excision:

  • The process of completely removing the cyst and cleaning the area. This method is the most effective to prevent recurrence.
  • Procedure: Performed under local anesthesia. The area where the cyst is located is sterilized, a small incision is made, and the cyst is removed.
  • Advantages: Low risk of recurrence as the cyst is completely removed.
  • Disadvantages: A small scar may remain.


  • The contents of the cyst are drained, but this method does not reduce the risk of recurrence.
  • Procedure: Performed under local anesthesia. A small incision is made on the cyst, and the contents are drained.
  • Advantages: Quick procedure and immediate relief.
  • Disadvantages: The cyst may refill and recur.

Infection Treatment:

  • Antibiotic treatment may be necessary for infected sebaceous cysts.
  • Procedure: Oral or topical antibiotics are used.
  • Advantages: Controls infection and reduces inflammation.
  • Disadvantages: Antibiotics only treat the infection, not the cyst itself.

Prevention of Sebaceous Cysts

Completely preventing sebaceous cysts may not be possible, but you can reduce the risk by taking some precautions:

  • Skin Hygiene: Keeping your skin clean and dry can help prevent the blockage of oil glands. Regularly washing your skin and using appropriate skincare products is important.
  • Wound Care: Properly caring for cuts or injuries on the skin can prevent cyst formation. Using antiseptics to prevent infection in injuries is beneficial.
  • Skin Products: Using suitable skincare products for oily skin can reduce the blockage of oil glands. Water-based and non-comedogenic products should be preferred.

Post-Treatment Care for Sebaceous Cysts

After sebaceous cyst treatment, paying attention to the care of the area can speed up the healing process and reduce the risk of infection:

  • Cleaning: Keep the treated area clean and dry. Follow the cleaning methods recommended by your doctor after treatment.
  • Bandaging: Covering the area with a bandage after surgical excision reduces the risk of infection. It is important to regularly change the bandage.
  • Medication Use: Use the antibiotics recommended by your doctor regularly. Antibiotic treatment controls infection and speeds up healing.


Sebaceous cysts are usually harmless masses under the skin. However, they may need to be treated if they become infected or cause discomfort due to aesthetic concerns. The treatment of sebaceous cysts is generally simple and may require surgical intervention. If you notice any abnormal masses on your skin, it is important to see a dermatologist for early diagnosis and treatment.

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