The scalp, ears, back, face, and upper arm, are common sites for sebaceous cysts, though they may occur anywhere on the body except the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. In males a common place for them to develop is the scrotum and chest. They are more common in hairier areas, where in cases of long duration they could result in hair loss on the skin surface immediately above the cyst. They are smooth to the touch, vary in size, and are generally round in shape.
They are generally mobile masses that can consist of:
Fibrous tissues and fluids,
A fatty (keratinous) substance that resembles cottage cheese, in which case the cyst may be called “keratin cyst” This material has a characteristic “cheesy” or “foot odor” smell,
A somewhat viscous, serosanguineous fluid (containing purulent and bloody material).
The nature of the contents of a sebaceous cyst, and of its surrounding capsule, will be determined by whether the cyst has ever been infected.
With surgery, a cyst can usually be excised in its entirety. Poor surgical technique or previous infection leading to scarring and tethering of the cyst to the surrounding tissue may lead to rupture during excision and removal. A completely removed cyst will not recur, though if the patient has a predisposition to cyst formation, further cysts may develop in the same general area.
Comments:Large infected sebaceous cyst?
I have a large sebaceous cyst on my right shoulder that has become severely infected. I went to the Dr over a week ago and he prescribed me antibiotics and told me to see a surgeon to have it removed. I took the antibiotics for over a week and the cyst steadily got worse. Long story short, I am still on antibiotics, but the cyst burst yesterday and has been leaking blood and pus. I have a consultation appt with a surgeon tomorrow. My question is should I continue to let it drain or get emergency care?
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