Sebaceous cyst - superficail skin lumps
Sebaceous cysts are noncancerous small bumps beneath the skin. They can appear anywhere on the skin, but are most common on the face, neck and trunk.
Epidermoid cysts are slow growing and often painless, so they rarely cause problems or need treatment.
True sebaceous cysts are less common. They arise from the glands that secrete oily matter that lubricates hair and skin (sebaceous glands).
Epidermoid cyst signs and symptoms include:
- A small, round bump under the skin, usually on the face, neck or trunk
- A tiny blackhead plugging the central opening of the cyst
- A thick, yellow, smelly material that sometimes drains from the cyst
- Redness, swelling and tenderness in the area, if inflamed or infected
Potential complications of epidermoid cysts include:
- Inflammation. An epidermoid cyst can become tender and swollen, even if it's not infected. An inflamed cyst is difficult to remove. Your doctor is likely to postpone removing it until the inflammation subsides.
- Rupture. A ruptured cyst often leads to a boil-like infection that requires prompt treatment.
- Infection. Cysts can become infected and painful (abscessed).
- Skin cancer. In very rare cases, epidermoid cysts can lead to skin cancer.
When to see a doctor
Most epidermoid cysts don't cause problems or need treatment. See your doctor if you have one or more that:
- Grows rapidly
- Ruptures or becomes painful or infected
- Occurs in a spot that's constantly irritated
- Bothers you for cosmetic reasons
- Is in an unusual location, such as a finger and toe