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Sebaceous Cysts

Sebaceous Cysts

A sebaceous cyst, also known as a skin cyst, is a growth beneath the skin that resembles a closed capsule. It is typically filled with liquid or semisolid substances, similar to a blister on the skin. These cysts can occur when oil glands or hair follicles in the skin become blocked or swollen, and there may also be a genetic component to their development. The main symptom of a skin cyst is a painless lump under the skin, which can become inflamed and tender.

Fortunately, sebaceous cysts are usually harmless and can be left untreated. However, if a small cyst becomes inflamed or a larger cyst causes discomfort, pain, or hair loss, it may be necessary to seek treatment to alleviate the symptoms. 

The Treatment

The specific treatment approach depends on the type and location of the cyst, as well as the level of discomfort it causes. Options for treatment include draining or aspirating the cyst, surgically removing it, or conducting a biopsy to determine if the cells are cancerous.

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Epidermoid Cyst

An epidermoid cyst is a small, harmless lump that forms beneath the skin, usually on the face, neck, or trunk. It is characterized by a round bump under the skin, a tiny blackhead blocking the opening of the cyst, yellow discharge from the cyst, and, if it becomes inflamed or infected, redness, swelling, and tenderness in the affected area. While anyone can develop these cysts, individuals who have reached puberty, those with specific genetic disorders, and those who have experienced skin injuries are more prone to them.

Epidermoid cysts are often mistaken for sebaceous cysts and can also occur due to damage to hair follicles or the outer layer of the skin. These slow-growing lumps are typically painless, but if they become painful, rupture, or get infected, it may be necessary to remove them.

Sebaceous Hyperplasia

Sebaceous hyperplasia is a harmless condition characterized by the benign growth of oil glands in the body. These glands, which are typically too small to be seen with the naked eye, are attached to hair follicles all over the body. Their main function is to release natural oils that keep the skin moisturized and supple. However, in certain cases, these glands can become enlarged and clogged with sebum, resulting in small, shiny bumps that commonly appear on the face, particularly on the nose and forehead. Occasionally, these bumps can also occur in other areas such as the areolas, chest, scrotum, and penis. It is important to note that these bumps may sometimes be mistaken for acne, milia, or even basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. In such cases, a dermatologist may recommend a biopsy of the bumps to confirm the diagnosis.

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