You may think you know all about sebaceous cysts. But what many people fail to realise is that, in most cases, sebaceous cysts are actually epidermoid cysts. Sebaceous cysts are rarer, and may not be what you think.
Most people will label any type of painless bump that comes up beneath the skin as a sebaceous cyst. Here’s what you need to know about sebaceous cysts, and how they differ from epidermoid cysts. Find out what causes these cysts, how to treat them, and how to prevent them from recurring.
- Epidermoid Cysts Are Widespread
The term sebaceous cyst can be used to refer to epidermoid cysts and pilar cysts. Epidermoid cysts are not made from sebum but from keratin and from fat. These cysts usually occur on the upper body including the face and neck, but mainly on the chest and the upper shoulders. Epidermoid cysts may come about from acne scarring or if the skin is broken or injured.
- True Sebaceous Cysts Are Different
Sebaceous cysts occur in the sebaceous glands and they contain sebum. The medical name for these cysts is steatocystoma simplex or steatocystoma multiplex. Strictly speaking, only cysts that contain sebum are called sebaceous cysts.
- Epidermoid Cysts are Not Dangerous…
Despite what some people say, a sebaceous cyst or epidermoid cyst is not connected with cancer and is not dangerous. If you suffer from one of these cysts it will probably be painless, although if the cyst becomes infected it can begin to hurt.
- …But Popping a Cyst Can Be Dangerous
It is not a good idea to try to pop or cut out an epidermoid cyst yourself. You risk spreading infection if the cyst bursts and drains, and if you fail to remove the entire cyst it will grow back and could cause further problems. You may suffer severe bleeding if you try to remove a cyst and break the skin. If you are bothered by a large cyst and natural remedies to ease the cyst haven’t worked, you can see a doctor who will remove it in a safe manner.
- You Can Remove a Cyst Naturally
It is best to gently help the cyst decrease in size and disappear. You can do this by applying warm compresses to the bump, or use a heating pack to reduce the swelling. If the cyst bursts or starts to drain pus, use a sterile bandage to stop this from spreading. You can also use natural remedies to help soothe inflammation and stop swelling.