Q:

How do you treat a sebaceous cyst?

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Quick Answer

Sebaceous cysts are treated by either surgically removing them or draining them, according to Healthline. Most cysts are not harmful to an individual's health, so a doctor may allow the patient to decide which course of treatment to follow. However, sebaceous cysts normally return if they are not removed.

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Full Answer

Sebaceous cysts are removed through one of several methods, including a conventional wide excision, a minimal excision or a laser with punch biopsy excision, advises Healthline. A conventional wide excision can leave a long scar, but the surgery removes the entire cyst. A minimal excision carries a risk that the cyst will return, but scarring is minimal.

A laser with punch biopsy excision is a two part process, explains Healthline. The cyst is drained after a laser is used to make a small hole, and then the cyst's outer walls are removed approximately one month later.

Individuals who develop symptoms of an infection, including a fever or pain and redness at the cyst removal site, should seek medical attention, notes Healthline. Left untreated, some infections are deadly.

Sebaceous cysts are typically found on easily visible areas, including the torso, neck and face. White keratin flakes — a key element in nails and skin — are generally inside of sebaceous cysts. Small sebaceous cysts are usually painless. Large cysts may cause discomfort or considerable pain.

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