If it becomes swollen or tender, home treatments may help. Putting a warm moist compress over the cyst may help it drain, for instance. Resist any temptation to pop or squeeze the cyst, like a pimple. But if it’s inflamed and causing discomfort, you should see a doctor.
Some cysts are cancerous and early treatment is vital. If left untreated, benign cysts can cause serious complications including: Infection – the cyst fills with bacteria and pus, and becomes an abscess. If the abscess bursts inside the body, there is a risk of blood poisoning (septicaemia).
True sebaceous cysts arise from hair follicles, whereas epidermoid cysts develop from skin cells. Sebaceous cysts often occur after a hair follicle becomes swollen. The cysts originate from the sebaceous glands, the glands that secrete the oily matter (sebum) that helps to lubricate the skin and the hair.