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Best Doctors For sebaceous-cyst
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    Dr. Rohit Devdutt Bavdekar (LkcatVgAb8)

    Dr. Rohit Devdutt Bavdek...

    MBBS, MD, DNB-Plastic Surgery
    30 Yrs.Exp.


    30 + Years


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    Dr. Tapeshwar Seghal (pEIy9o0UZ2)

    Dr. Tapeshwar Seghal

    MBBS, MS-General Surgery, DNB-Plastic Surgery
    27 Yrs.Exp.


    27 + Years


    Aesthetics and Plastic Surgeon

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    Dr. Devidutta Mohanty (Qx2Ggxqwz2)

    Dr. Devidutta Mohanty

    MBBS,MS, M. Ch- Plastic Surgery
    20 Yrs.Exp.


    20 + Years


    Aesthetics and Plastic Surgeon

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  • What is Sebaceous Cyst?
    How do sebaceous cysts form?
    Types of Sebaceous Cyst
    Causes & Symptoms of Sebaceous Cyst
    Sebaceous Cyst Diagnosis
    Severity of Sebaceous Cyst
    Prevention of Sebaceous Cyst
    When to consult a doctor?
    Questions to ask your doctor
    Sebaceous Cyst Treatment Cost in India & Insurance Coverage

    What is Sebaceous Cyst?

    A sebaceous cyst is a slow-growing cyst that originates directly from the sebaceous glands. They are also known as epidermal cysts, keratin cysts, or epithelial cysts. They affect around 20% of adults and usually don’t exhibit symptoms like pain or tenderness. This type of cyst is also benign and non-cancerous in nature.

    However, in some cases, sebaceous cysts can become infected, inflamed, or burst. As a result, you may have to seek treatment for sebaceous cysts.

    How do sebaceous cysts form?

    To understand how sebaceous cysts form, you need to understand the function of sebaceous glands. These glands are present under the skin and produce oil called sebum. This oil coats the hair and skin. Most sebaceous glands are present around hair follicles, and some are also present on the open surface of the skin.

    Sometimes, the duct (the passage from which the oil leaves the skin) gets damaged and blocked. The blockage can happen due to any reason, including a scratch, surgical wound, or even acne. As the cyst grows slowly, it usually becomes noticeable weeks or months after the cyst has formed.

    When you squeeze the cyst, the fluid, i.e., sebum, comes out of it. Though they are generally harmless, if they become infected, the cyst will become red and start to swell. There might even be a foul-smelling discharge from the cyst. If such symptoms are present, it is advisable that you see a doctor and consult them.

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    Types of Sebaceous Cyst

    • Epidermoid Cyst
    • Pilar Cyst

    Causes & Symptoms of Sebaceous Cyst

    Sebaceous Cyst Causes

    • Damaged ducts of sebaceous glands
    • Blocked ducts
    • Trauma on the skin
    • Misshapen or deformed ducts
    • Genetic conditions, such as basal cell nevus syndrome

    Sebaceous Cyst Symptoms

    • Small lump under the skin
    • Painless lump
    • A visible hole in the middle also called the central punctum,
    • Move freely when touched
    • Composed of white-colored fluid that has a foul odor
    • Redness and tenderness (if become infected)

    Sebaceous Cyst Diagnosis

    Self Diagnosis

    You can self-diagnose a sebaceous cyst if you know the symptoms it exhibits. For instance, you can evaluate its appearance. If the cyst appears as a bump on the skin with a small tip that looks like an opening, it may be a sebaceous cyst.

    Other than appearance, you can also identify other characteristics of the cyst, i.e., it has a white discharge, and the cyst moves under the skin. The cyst may also have tenderness. However, through these symptoms, you can only assume that the cyst is a sebaceous cyst. For confirmation, it is important that you visit a specialist.

    Diagnosis by Doctor

    For the trained eyes of the doctor, sebaceous cysts are easy to identify solely by their appearance. Still, after physically examining the cyst, the doctor will suggest some pathological tests to confirm that the lump is a sebaceous cyst and not any other type of cyst.

    The doctor will also recommend a biopsy to rule out the possibility of cancer.

    Test Recommended For Sebaceous Cyst

    The tests that help the doctor to accurately diagnose a sebaceous cyst are:

    • Ultrasound helps to determine the contents (liquid or semi-solid) of the cyst.
    • A punch biopsy is done to examine the cyst and look for signs of cancer.
    • A CT scan is done if the doctor thinks that surgery will be required to remove the sebaceous cyst. This test will help the surgeon find the best path to access the cyst without damaging the nerves and surrounding muscles. Furthermore, it also helps to identify any abnormalities with the cyst.

    What Happens if Sebaceous Cyst is Left Untreated?

    In some cases, the sebaceous cyst goes away on its own. However, there is also a possibility that the cyst will become infected. When the cyst gets infected, the skin will look red due to inflammation.

    At this point, treatment is crucial to ensure that the infection from the cyst doesn’t spread further.

    Infection is one of the major signs that a sebaceous cyst is possibly cancerous. Along with this, if the cyst grows larger than 5 cm, then it is considered severe, and treatment becomes critically necessary.

    How to Prevent Sebaceous Cyst?

    There is no certain preventative measure for sebaceous cysts. They can arise even if the sebaceous glands suffer from minor trauma. Or they may not arise at all, even if the ducts are damaged or blocked. Thus, you cannot do anything to prevent the cysts from developing. Moreover, they can also occur at any age. The only possible thing you can do is visit a specialist the moment you notice the lump.

    When to Consult a Doctor for Sebaceous Cyst?

    You should consult a doctor if the cyst:

    • Grows rapidly
    • Gets ruptured
    • Becomes painful
    • Gets infected
    • Bothers you because of the appearance
    • It is located in an unusual location, such as the finger or toe.

    Questions to Ask Your Doctor

    • Which board are you certified from?
    • How many years of experience do you have?
    • What type of cyst do I have?
    • Which technique will be used to remove the sebaceous cyst?
    • Is surgical excision of sebaceous cyst safe?
    • What are the risks and complications associated with sebaceous cyst removal surgery?
    • How will you ensure that no complications arise during the surgery?
    • How long will I have to stay in the hospital?
    • What can I do for a faster recovery?
    • When should I come back for a follow-up?

    Sebaceous Cyst Treatment Cost in India & Insurance Coverage

    Sebaceous cyst removal surgery will cost you around Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 50,000 approximately based on the factors given below:

    • The severity of the condition
    • Doctor’s consultation and operating fee
    • The overall health of the patient
    • Number of cysts that need removal
    • The technique chosen for the excision
    • Risks and complications
    • Choice of hospital
    • Hospital admission, discharge, and bed charges
    • Diagnostic tests
    • Post-surgery follow-ups

    The cost is calculated after accounting for all these factors. During your consultation with the doctor, you can ask the doctor to give you an estimate of the cost of sebaceous cyst excision surgery.

    Insurance Coverage

    Sebaceous cyst surgery is covered under all personal and corporate insurance policies. This is so because it has the potential to become cancerous. Therefore, the treatment expenses are covered by the insurance providers. You can use either the claim method or the reimbursement method to cover the expenses incurred during the treatment.

    You should also understand that a 24-hour stay in the hospital is required to get approval for a claim against insurance.

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    FAQs About Sebaceous Cyst

    What can you do to prevent the development of sebaceous cysts?

    The only thing you can do to prevent a sebaceous cyst is to make sure that your skin is not damaged. These cysts usually form when the sebaceous glands are damaged or blocked due to some kind of trauma in the skin tissues. Thus, when you ensure that the skin is intact, there will be minimal chances of getting a sebaceous cyst.

    Is it possible to treat sebaceous cysts without surgery?

    Yes. There are two possible ways to treat sebaceous cysts without surgery, i.e., drainage and steroid injections. However, these two methods are not that effective as the cyst wall is not removed during the procedure.

    What will happen if the cyst bursts inside the body?

    If the cyst bursts inside the body for some reason, the infection will spread to the body through the bloodstream. It may also increase the risks of blood poisoning or septicemia. If this happens, you will need immediate medical attention.

    How long does it take for a cyst hole to close?

    Once the pus is drained, The packing will need to be removed. Antibiotics may not be needed unless the infection has spread into the skin around the wound. The wound will take about 1 to 2 weeks to heal, depending on the size of the abscess.

    What happens if sebaceous cyst is left untreated?

    Cysts left untreated can become very large and may eventually require surgical removal if they become uncomfortable. If you have a complete surgical removal, the cyst will most likely not return in the future.

    What is the difference between a sebaceous cyst and an epidermal cyst?

    The key difference between a sebaceous cyst and an epidermal cyst is that an epidermal cyst is filled with dead skin cells, whereas a sebaceous cyst is filled with yellowish or whitish oily material, i.e., sebum.

    Can I pop the cyst myself?

    No. You should never try to pop a cyst yourself or with the help of another person. This can cause infection in the cyst, and you may also develop other dermatological problems due to that.