What is a sebaceous cyst?

A sebaceous cyst is one form of a cyst which occurs below the skin's surface. The lining which appears can resemble a hair follicle's uppermost section. Sebum, produced by the sebaceous glands of the skin, fills the cyst's lining. This material is semi-solid in nature, is fatty, and has a white appearance. A sebaceous cyst is at times considered the same as, or at least similar to, an epidermoid cyst. Additionally, it is a type of a trichilemmal cyst.


While it may appear on nearly any region of the body, there are several locations in which a sebaceous cyst is known to more commonly occur: the chest, scalp, face, ears, and back are several of these. Certain physical characteristics that may also be noted include:

Most often, it will be round in shape, while feeling smooth. The size may change from one to another.

The masses inside of the sebaceous cyst may be one of a few different types: fluids with fibrous tissue, pus with blood, or a fatty material (in such a case it may be called a keratin cyst).


It is possible for a sebaceous cyst to become infected. In such a case, the material inside may be different than what is in a non-infected one. Attempting to break the cyst is one way in which it can become infected - a patient ought not to try to break his own cyst, but rather have it looked at by someone who can treat it properly. If one does become infected, oral antibiotics may be useful as an extra measure, and may be taken before or after (in some cases both) surgery.

Additional information

They are generally benign and non-cancerous, however, a sebaceous cyst may be removed for cosmetic or comfort purposes, or if it becomes infected. Rarely do they lead to cancer, although skin cancer can come through them in infrequent cases.

To continue reading about the sebaceous cyst, please visit a website particularly on the topic: SebaceousCyst.net. There you will find information on symptoms, underlying medical causes, diagnosis methods, and treatment options.

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