Sebaceous cysts are white-yellow nodules filled with protein (keratin), commonly present on the neck, face, scalp, and trunk. Generally, they are harmless but may get infected, becoming red, tender, and swelled, with foul-smelling ous discharge oozing out from the cyst. 

A sebaceous cyst, also known as an epidermoid cyst, is a noncancerous growth that forms under the skin. It is a common condition that can occur in people of all ages and genders, but it is most commonly seen in adults. Sebaceous cysts can develop on any part of the body, but they are most commonly found on the face, neck, and trunk.

what is sebaceous cysts


Epidermoid cyst

A benign cyst that develops in the outermost layer of skin (called ectoderm). It is mainly present in the regions where less hair is present.

Pilar cyst

Type of cyst formed from hair follicles mostly on the scalp. These are also benign, but they may grow rapidly as tumours.



  • Damage to the sebaceous gland
  • Deformation of ducts
  • Surgical injury
  • Genetic diseases (for example, Gardner's disease)


Sebaceous cysts are formed from the sebaceous glands when they get blocked or damaged. Injury, trauma, or surgical wound may damage the sebaceous gland, leading to the formation of sebaceous cysts. 

This can be due to a variety of reasons, including an injury to the skin, a pore blockage, or a hormonal imbalance. When the gland becomes blocked, a sac of keratin, a protein that forms the outer layer of skin, builds up and creates a lump under the skin.


  • Feeling of pressure
  • Inflammation
  • Pain and redness
  • Pus drainage
  • Cyst filled with keratin flakes
sebaceous cysts symptoms


  • Physical examination of sebaceous cyst
  • CT scan
  • Ultrasound
  • Punch biopsy

Take care of the skin
Apply hot compress
Do not touch
Do not try to prick



Nonsurgical treatment options for sebaceous cysts include:

Warm compresses:
Applying a warm, moist compress to the affected area can help to reduce inflammation and promote drainage of the cyst.

Topical antibiotics:
If the cyst is infected, applying a topical antibiotic cream or ointment may help to reduce inflammation and prevent further infection.

Steroid injections: Injecting a steroid medication directly into the cyst can help to reduce inflammation and shrink the cyst.

Drainage: If the cyst is large or causing discomfort, a healthcare provider may use a needle or incision to drain the fluid from the cyst.


Wide excision surgery: The conventional method of excising the cyst with a wider incision is made in the skin. This type of surgery leaves comparatively longer scars after treatment.

Minimal  excision surgery: The type of excisional surgery involves a minor incision that leaves a minimal scar on the skin. 

Punch excision: Type of excision that removes cysts along with surrounding skin using a scalpel.

Laser excision : Type of treatment that uses a laser to make a minor hole for draining the cyst contents. 


A sebaceous cyst is commonly harmless but may become cancerous. The cancerous cyst is painful and red and should be removed as early as possible. Some of the factors that increase the risk of developing sebaceous cysts are:

  • Puberty
  • Skin damage
  • Certain Genetic disorders


  • Infection
  • Cyst rupture
  • Inflammation
  • Skin cancer 
sebaceous cysts risks and complications


If the sebaceous cyst is left untreated, it may grow over time. Abnormally large sebaceous cyst cause lot of discomfort and disrupt the ease of wearing clothes. 


The average cost of surgical treatment to remove a sebaceous cyst is ₹25,000 - ₹35,000. The cost varies on the type of surgical procedure, hospital facilities and cities. 

Financial Options

No Cost EMI



sebaceous cysts treatment cost


Whether a sebaceous cyst is covered by health insurance will depend on a number of factors, including the patient's insurance plan, the severity of the cyst, and the recommended treatment.

In general, sebaceous cyst removal may be covered by health insurance if it is considered medically necessary. For example, if the cyst is causing discomfort, pain, or infection, or if it is located in a cosmetically sensitive area, insurance may cover the cost of surgical removal. However, if the cyst is small and asymptomatic, insurance may not cover the cost of removal as it may be considered a cosmetic procedure.

It is important to check with the patient's insurance provider to determine their specific coverage and out-of-pocket expenses for the diagnosis and treatment of a sebaceous cyst.

sebaceous cysts treatment insurance plan
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Dr. Meenakshi Sundaram



12+ Years of Experience

Well versed in

Past Experience : General Surgeon at Disha Hospital , Madurai


Dr. Pradeep Kumar N

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General Surgeon   |  Rating  


11+ Years of Experience

Well versed in English, Kannada

Past Experience : Ex- Plastic Surgeon at Ayu Health Hospitals


Know more about Sebaceous Cysts

Glamyo Health provides the best and safest options for surgical treatment for sebaceous cysts. Know the best Doctors in Delhi and clinics in Delhi. Looking for effective treatment of Axillary breast Surgery? 

Sebaceous cysts are usually small and painless, and they often go unnoticed unless they become inflamed or infected. When this happens, the cyst may become red, swollen, and painful. It may also start to leak a yellow, oily substance.

Read about the Advanced surgical options available to get rid of sebaceous cysts Permanently. If you have questions on how long it takes to recover from surgery, know the estimated time of Surgery Recovery time. We provide you with our happy patient reviews to know their journey throughout the surgical treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sebaceous cysts are treated by various methods like laser excision, punch excision, and traditional wide excision method. Certain sebaceous cysts are also injected with some steroids to help heal swelling and redness.

Sebaceous cysts develop due to blockage or damage to the sebaceous gland or ducts. This may happen due to a scratch, acne, a skin condition , or surgical cut or wound.

Squeezing or popping the sebaceous cyst can prove to be a dangerous attempt. It can cause infection and inflammtion that require more dermatological treatment that previous cyst treatment.

True cysts that develop as a result of damage or blockage of sebaceous gland or ducts contain oily yellowish material.

Most of the cysts may resolve naturally with time but often comes back. If sebaceous cysts is causing more problem and bothering you by recurrence, then you must consult the healthcare provider.

Mostly, the sebaceous cysts are harmless and there rae very rare cases where they become malignant or cancerous. The slow growing sebaceous cysts are not life threatening while teh ones that appear to grow faster may be cancerous.

Most cysts are not dangerous, but some can be. It depends on the type of cyst, its location, and whether it is causing symptoms or not.

Cysts can be removed surgically or drained with a needle or catheter. The method used depends on the type and location of the cyst.

Some cysts may go away on their own, but others may persist or grow larger. It depends on the type of cyst and its underlying cause.

A cyst is not always a tumor, but it can be. Cysts are usually fluid-filled sacs that are typically benign, while tumors are abnormal growths that can be benign or malignant.