A sebaceous cyst is a small, closed sac under the skin that contains oily or cheesy material. The cyst forms a smooth, firm bump or lump, most often on the face, scalp, neck, or middle of the body. A sebaceous cyst may occur if you have a blocked sweat gland or hair follicle. A sebaceous cyst that forms in the top layer of skin cells is called an epidermal cyst. If the cyst sac forms from hair follicle cells, it is called a pilar cyst. Having acne increases your risk for developing a sebaceous cyst.
Sebaceous cysts are pasty filled lumps or bumps that occur just below the skin is a closed sac under the skin filled with a cheese-like or oily material. Causes. Sebaceous cysts most often arise from swollen hair follicles.
Sometimes an epidermoid cyst has a central opening the remnant of a hair follicle from which the cyst originally formed that’s plugged by a tiny blackhead. You may be able to squeeze out a thick, cheesy material through this opening, but because of the risk of infection and scarring, it’s best to leave this to your dermatologist.
Milia tiny, deep-seated whiteheads that never seem to come to the surface of your skin are miniature epidermoid cysts. They’re especially common in older women and in men with significant sun damage on their cheeks and temples. They can also be caused or aggravated by long-term use of oil-based creams or cosmetics.
Symptoms of Sebaceous Cyst
The main symptom is usually a small, non-painful lump beneath the skin. The lump is usually found on the face, neck and trunk. It usually grows slowly and is not painful.
If the lump becomes infected or inflamed, other symptoms may include:
- Skin redness
- Tender or sore skin
- Warm skin in the affected area
- Grayish-white, cheesy, foul-smelling material that drains from the cyst