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Sebaceous Cyst

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 may burst. As a result, you may have to seek treatment for sebaceous cysts.

Sebaceous Cyst formation

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.

Types of cysts

Epidermoid Cyst

Epidermoid Cyst

Pilar Cyst

Pilar Cyst


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


  • Small lump under the skin
  • Painless lump
  • 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)


For the trained eyes of the doctor, sebaceous cysts are easy to identify solely with 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. 

Diagnosis by Doctor of Sebaceous Cyst


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. 

Severity of Sebaceous Cyst

  • Prevention

    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 ?

You should consult a doctor if the cyst:

  • Grows rapidly 
  • Gets ruptured 
  • Becomes painful 
  • Gets infected 
  • Bothers you because of the appearance 

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 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

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 needs 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-hours stay in the hospital is required to get approval for a claim against insurance. 


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. 

Does sebaceous cyst removal surgery leave a scar?

As the cyst is excised by making a cut in the skin, there is a possibility that the surgery will leave a scar. However, there are minimally invasive surgical techniques available that will ensure that the scarring is minimal. You can further ask the doctor for help to ensure that the scar fades away and becomes unnoticeable after healing.

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.

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. 

What will happen if the cyst bursts inside the body?

If the cyst bursts inside the body due to 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. 

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. 

How long does it take to recover from sebaceous cyst surgery?

After the removal of your cyst, you can expect a complete recovery period of about two to four weeks. The actual healing time is based on the type of your cyst, your health, and how it was removed.

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.

How long do you stay in the hospital after having a cyst removed?

Most patients can go home the same day. In some cases, an overnight stay may be required. Expect some soreness around the surgical site during the first 24 to 48 hours following surgery.

Can you shower after sebaceous cyst removal?

You may not bath until 2 weeks after surgery. When you shower, you can get the clear plastic bandage wet or wash over the paper tapes with soap and water.

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.

Can I go back to work after cyst removal?

If your incision is left open, it may take from a few weeks to several months to heal. After the incision has healed, you will have a scar where the cyst was removed. This will fade and become softer with time. Most people can go back to work and most activities after 2 to 4 weeks.

Facts and statistics around sebaceous cysts:

  • A sebaceous cyst is the most common type of skin cyst. 
  • Sebaceous cysts are usually filled with sebum or protein called keratin. However, if the cyst is infected, pus may also be present in it. 
  • You can see a dermatologist (skin specialist) for the treatment of sebaceous cysts. 
  • Anything you drink or eat has no effect on the sebaceous cysts. 
  • Sebaceous cyst continues to grow over time if not treated. 
  • Sebaceous cysts are not contagious, i.e., they don’t spread from one person to another. 

Choose Pristyn Care to Get Optimal Care and Treatment for Sebaceous Cyst 

Pristyn Care is a leading healthcare provider across major cities of India. We follow a patient-centric approach that focuses on the patient’s needs and removes all the obstacles they usually face while seeking treatment for sebaceous cysts. 

We provide personalized care to each one of our patients with the help of our medical and non-medical staff. They work together to ensure that your surgical experience is seamless in every way. We provide:

  • Advanced and minimally invasive treatment at the best hospitals and clinics in India. 
  • A team of dedicated and well-experienced plastic surgeons who specialize in treating sebaceous cysts. 
  • Assistance with hospital-related and insurance-related paperwork. 
  • Multiple payment options with finance service in the form of No-Cost EMI. 
  • A free cab service on the day of surgery to travel to and from the hospital. 
  • A deluxe room for stay in the hospital. 
  • Free recovery guide and post-surgery follow-ups. 

At every step, one of our representatives will take care of your personal needs as well as other treatment-related formalities. Whether you are getting treatment for a sebaceous cyst or any other disease/condition, we ensure to maintain the high standards and quality of medical care and keep the treatment cost-effective as well. 


Book An Appointment with the Best Plastic Surgeons in India 

You can get treatment from the best plastic surgeons in India by booking an appointment with Pristyn Care. You can download the dedicated application for the patients on your mobile phone and browse the list of doctors available near you. Then pick the doctor of your choice (you can also see the consultation fee, the clinic they operate from, and ratings) and confirm the appointment personally with the doctor at your convenience. Pristyn Care also has an online consultation service so that patients seeking expert help can have a discussion over a virtual call from the comfort of their homes. 

Other than this, you can also give us a call at the number given above or fill the appointment form. Our medical coordinators will connect with you and ask for the date and time for consultation. Once you are certain that you want to undergo sebaceous cyst removal surgery, our representatives will be available for round-the-clock assistance to simplify the treatment journey for you. 

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