Sebaceous cyst : when should you consult a dermatologist?

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  1. Sebaceous cyst
  2. How do you recognize a skin cyst?
    1. Cysts are different because of the nature of the cells that make them up.
  3. Sebaceous cyst: how can it evolve?
  4. When should a cyst be operated on?
  5. Skin cyst: are relapses frequent?
  6. You may be interested:

Sebaceous cyst

Common on the chest, back or face, sebaceous cysts are lumps that occur on the surface of the skin. Usually they are not painful, but when they become infected, an operation is required to remove them.

Sebaceous cyst

Catherine Laverdet, a dermatologist, explains how this surgical procedure works.

A sebaceous cyst is a mobile lump that appears on the surface of the skin. It is characterized by a kind of bag filled with a liquid or semi-solid substance called sebum.

Its size can vary from a few millimeters (a microcyst) to a few centimeters.

In most cases the skin cyst is benign and does not cause any particular discomfort.

But a consultation with a dermatologist may be necessary when it starts to become infected or painful. We take stock with Catherine Laverdet, a dermatologist.

How do you recognize a skin cyst?

There are different types of skin cysts. The most common are sebaceous, but other cysts such as Milia (milia) cysts, which appear as small white lumps, or hair cysts, which are located on the scalp or other hairy areas, can also appear on the surface of the skin.

Cysts are different because of the nature of the cells that make them up.

Sebaceae look like small lumps that have the same color as the skin. They are mainly found on the chest, back or face, because they are places where there are many sebaceous glands," explains Catherine Laverdet.

A sebaceous cyst is caused by the obstruction of the duct that carries sebum, produced by the sebaceous glands, to the surface of the skin.

When blocked, the glands continue to produce sebum without being able to remove it. Then a cyst appears in this area.

Sebaceous cyst: how can it evolve?

In general, a sebaceous cyst does not cause any pain or discomfort.

In some cases, it disappears spontaneously, but it can also be unpleasant and uncomfortable.

When a germ manages to enter the cyst, an infection can occur causing painful redness and swelling. At this point, it is recommended that you consult a doctor or dermatologist.

When should a cyst be operated on?

It is advisable to go to a dermatological consultation if you notice that your cyst is growing very quickly.

During the consultation, the specialist may specify the nature of the size. In case of doubt, an ultrasound scan of the soft tissues (skin surface) can be performed to identify the nature and content of the cyst.

"Before operating on a cyst, we start by treating it locally with antibiotics to reduce its volume and pain. When it "calms down" a little, we schedule the surgery to remove the pocket more easily," says Dr. Laverdet.

As soon as a cyst begins to become infected by the formation of a boil or abscess, surgery is necessary.

It can be performed by a dermatologist and sometimes even by a surgeon. The objective? To empty the bag completely to avoid repetition.

Skin cyst: are relapses frequent?

When the pouch is removed from a cyst, it is impossible to repeat in this part of the skin.

But this is not necessarily the case of hair cysts that appear in the areas of hair removal or in the buttocks: "tend to reappear frequently, because they are linked to an anomaly in hair growth.

Instead of coming out perpendicular to the skin, some hairs grow parallel. Therefore, they create small cysts that often return to the bikini and buttock area," adds Catherine Laverdet.

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