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Sebaceous Cyst

A sebaceous cyst, or Steatoma, is actually a sac under the skin enclosed inside a lining. It is generated from the sebaceous glands in the hair follicles and is a retention of keratin trapped within a sebaceous sack. Their formation is linked to blocked glands and swollen hair follicles, skin trauma and higher levels of testosterone within the body.


The sebaceous cysts are found on the face, neck or torso. The size varies from a pea to an egg. They develop in the top layer of skin, epidermis, and travel deeper into the skin where they proliferate.


In general, sebaceous cysts are painless, slow growing small bumps that move freely under the skin. The simplest case of sebaceous cyst does not require any major medical attention and some small cysts can disappear on their own.

Sebaceous cysts can be excised, which was, in past often carried out at the GP surgery. However due to funding implications, practitioners inside the NHS are not now able to perform any treatments considered 'cosmetic' and therefore the consumer is forced to actively look for an option.

The most gentle and least invasive method is electrolysis which is proving successful and effective.  Depending on the size and the location of the cyst it may be necessary to treat the nodule more than once. 


A thin probe is inserted into the sebaceous cyst a number of times and the alternating electric current is emitted inside the skin overgrowth.  The heat softens the contents of the cyst which enables for its contents to be excised.

Straight after the treatment the area will be affected by erythema. Provided the aftercare advice is carefully followed, the nodule should reduce in size within a week.

When they become infected, sebaceous cysts can form into painful abscessess. If punctured, a cheese-like fluid with unpleasant ordour  will sometimes seep from the cyst. The fluid is made up of dead cells and amino acids (cysteine disulfide).

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