Sebaceous cysts are benign growths originating from the oil glands located in the skin. They form due to a blockage in the outlet of a sebaceous gland which normally allows the oils (sebum) produced by that gland to surface onto the skin. Often painless, however, may become inflamed or infected and might require treatment such as the use of antibiotics and/or a surgical drainage procedure followed by an excise.
The procedure performed with direct surgical excision under local anesthesia over the cyst, extracting the cyst surgically, and then stitching the skin. Therefore leaving the smallest scars possible when excising sebaceous cysts.
The doctor may use one of the following methods:
- Conventional wide excision, which completely removes a cyst but can leave a long scar.
- Minimal excision, which causes minimal scarring but carries a risk that the cyst will return.
- Laser with punch biopsy excision, which uses a laser to make a small hole to drain the cyst of its contents (the outer walls of the cyst are removed about a month later).
Advice before the procedure:
- Refrain from smoking for one week prior to and one week after your procedure.
- Do not over-expose yourself to the sun.
- Have a light breakfast, but no coffee or caffeinated beverages
- Avoid shaving the same day of the procedure, or shave one 5 days before the procedure.
The minimal excision technique involves a 2- to 3-mm incision, expression of the cyst contents, and extraction of the cyst wall through the incision. Vigorous finger compression is used to express the cyst contents and loosen oily glands wall from the surrounding tissues to facilitate removal of the sac.
Aftercare instructions should be given by your doctor. These may include
- The need to keep the wound covered with a clean and dry bandage. you may need to change as advised
- If gauze was placed, you may need to return back to your doctor for removal
- Complete your course of oral antibiotics
- Do apply antibiotics and/ or ointment as advised
Healing time depends on the procedure and type of cyst being removed.
The major risks include: